In an effort to end the stigma surrounding HIV, Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland for Vangardist, a leading German men’s monthly, has printed an issue in HIV-positive blood-infused ink donated by three individuals living with the virus.

The magazines were created as a literal “hands-on” approach for tackling the HIV stigma and to shock the public into taking the disease more seriously. According to the magazine’s creators, people have become too casual in their approach to HIV, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting in the United States alone 1,000 individuals are infected with HIV each month.

“We believe that as a lifestyle magazine it is our responsibility to address the issues shaping society today,” Julian Wiehl, publisher and CEO of Vangardist explained in a press release. “With 80 percent more confirmed cases of HIV being recorded in 2013 than 10 years previously, and an estimated 50 percent of HIV cases being detected late due to lack of testing caused by social stigma associated with the virus, this felt like a very relevant issue for us to focus on not just editorially but also from a broader communications stand point.”

Out of wrap
Magazine is made with ink infused with blood of HIV-positive individuals. Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland for Vangardist

The magazine, available online and on newsstands, aims to prove that people can help show their support for HIV awareness simply by talking about the virus.

According to the press release, the 3,000 copies of the spring issue of the magazine are 100 percent safe. They were created using a process developed according to the guidelines established by Harvard and Innsbruck universities, which ensures that handling the magazine does not put consumers at risk for infection. But despite the safety claim, still, the issues are enclosed in a plastic covering and come with a disclaimer that waves the buyer's rights to blame the magazine’s manufacturers for “damages” made in relation to the product, CBS News reported.

“With this unique project, we want to create a response in a heartbeat by transforming the media into the very root of the stigma itself — by printing every word, line, picture, and page of the magazine with blood from HIV-positive people,” Wiehl added. “By holding the issue, readers are immediately breaking the taboo.”

Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, Trillium Health has estimated that around 60 million individuals have been infected with HIV and 25 million have died of HIV-related causes. There are an estimated 33 million people throughout the world living with HIV, 2.1 million of which are children under 15. In the United States, it’s estimated that someone is infected with HIV every nine and a half minutes.