# HIV HEROES

VANGARDIST

Editorial

Imprint:

Publisher: VANGARDIST MEDIA GmbH

Editor-In-Chief and Management: Julian Wiehl

Copy Editor: Klemens Gindl

Editorial staff: Julian Behrenbeck, Klemens Gindl,

Hendrik H., Philipp Spiegel, Tobias Seebacher,

Wiltrut Stefanek, Wyndham Mead

Illustration: Magdalena Weyrer

Photography: André Gehrmann, Daniel Gottschling,

Darius Lucaciu, Shlomit Migay, Sam Scott Schiavo

Translation: Lisa Voigt

Proofreading: Jay Bannmuller, Erin Troseth

Production & Styling: Mirza Sprecakovic

Production assistant: Victoria Abulesz, Vladimir

Satric, Liqiao Zhu

Graphics and Layout: Magdalena Weyrer

Graphics assistant: Julian Behrenbeck

Editing: Cristóbal Hornito

Making of: Tamara Pichler

Sincere thanks to all who, through their tireless efforts,

have helped to produce this very special edition.

VANGARDIST MEDIA GmbH

Mariahilfer Straße 49 Top 15

1060 Vienna

office@vangardist.com

Dear VANGARDISTS!

Welcome to the #HIVHEROES Edition!

Yes, we've printed 2,500 copies of this edition using ink mixed with the blood

of HIV-positive people, and no, you can't get infected from it, but beware: Your

thoughts might get stimulated.

The #HIVHEROES Edition is our statement to fight the stigma that many people

living with HIV face day after day. Overcoming the fear of talking about HIV

or telling somebody that you’re positive still takes bravery. So with this issue we

want to unlock the Hero in every one of us.

If you’re holding the "infected" print edition in your hands right now, you’ll

get into contact with HIV like never before. You might have been embarrassed

at first. And as you opened the wrapper you might have felt a bit of that fear

mentioned above. As the blood used as ink has been sterilized by pasteurization,

the virus is unquestionably dead. But it will make you reflect on HIV and

you will think differently afterwards. Because now the issue is in your hands.

Personally, I’ve always been afraid of becoming infected with HIV, and in

thinking about this, something very important came to my mind: I didn’t fear

the health issues as much as I feared a life of social exclusion and the absence

of intimate contact with anybody.

Sadly, rejection and stigma are created by society, which means by every one

of us. So it is up to us, the HIV-negative ones, to speak out about this topic. We

can start a conversation and make our statement without fearing any negative

consequences. The easier it is to live with HIV, the more people will dare to

get themselves tested and seek medical treatment, and the more lives can be

saved this way.

We need to take responsibility and be the Heroes we always wanted to be.

Thank you for joining our cause!

Julian Wiehl and the progressive VANGARDIST team

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