# HIV HEROES

VANGARDIST

HIV doesn’t make the news anymore.

Now the issue is in your hands.

Raffaele also told us that after the people

at Publicis in charge of the campaign

had quashed the idea, Jason

Romeyko, Creative Director of Saatchi

& Saatchi Geneva, which in turn is a

subsidiary of the Publicis Groupe, had

continued to toy with it. And then he

asked us whether this wouldn’t make

for an interesting campaign for the

VANGARDIST.

A radical plan

The concept was simple and powerful.

We would confront the increasing marginalisation

of the HIV/AIDS discourse

and make people aware of how social

prejudices against people with HIV are

still pretty rampant in today’s society.

Our main focus was to be on the issue

of social exclusion that many HIVpositive

people who openly deal with

their situation continue to face, simply

because the disease still triggers all

kinds of irrational fears of contracting

it, even though this is virtually impossible

through ordinary social contact.

Our plan: to find three people infected

with the virus who should be as different

from each other as possible as well

as be willing to donate their blood for

a good cause. This blood, after being

treated in a laboratory to exclude any

possible risk of infection, would then

be mixed with printer ink to produce

an ad that would, in essence, contain

the following information: This ad has

been printed with HIV infected blood.

Pure fate

While our Chief Editor’s ears had already

pricked up during the description

of the idea, when he heard the name

Romeyko, a wide grin spread over his

face, because—what a nice coincidence—Jason

is a personal friend of

the VANGARDIST in general and of Julian

and Carlos (the founders and editors

of this magazine) in particular. At a

time when their career ladders weren’t

being climbed quite as ambitiously as

they are now, these two would regularly

visit Jason in Berlin. Probably mostly

to party, but also, whenever Jason was

sent off around the world, to look after

Jason’s cat, Bauer. We should probably

mention here that Bauer isn’t just

some ordinary cat. He’s a muse, and

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