# HIV HEROES

VANGARDIST

The unknown

residual risk

Our new Heroes Campaign plan, involving

a limited running of magazines

sealed in plastic that would challenge

recipients to make a statement

by actively unwrapping and touching

them, was then sent to San Marino

once more, along with a request for a

second legal opinion. And this time,

the response was guardedly positive.

It stated that even though the Consul

couldn’t vouch for the rest of the

world, according to German and Austrian

law, our campaign wouldn’t pose

any legal problems. And since by that

point we’d swaggered so much about

heroism, we decided to just go ahead

with it and face the potential risks.

Definitely not standard

operating procedure

So now that we were willing to assume

the possible risks, all we had to

do was convince others of how noble

our campaign was. Since something

like this had never been done before,

we had no standard operating procedure

to fall back on. As a first step, we

had to find a laboratory that would be

willing and able to treat the donated

blood to rule out any possible risk of

infection, and of course none of the

laboratories we contacted were willing

to do it. Through one of our boss’ old

childhood friends, we finally managed

to establish contact with the medical

faculty at the University of Innsbruck

and, after some negotiation, we had

them where we wanted: The guys from

Tyrol would extract and pasteurise the

blood and then submit it to processing

in an autoclave set to “biosafety level

3”. After that, we were told, you could

basically drink it.

Old love never dies

The second hurdle we had to overcome

was to find a printing office

willing to allow the blood to come in

contact with its printing presses, but

all the big ones turned us down. Our

last chance was a small print shop under

the name of Donau Forum Druck,

who we had already worked with on

our very first print issue. Its owner did

express some reluctance at first, because

he didn’t want to force his staff

to participate in our stunt, but in the

end he offered to do the job himself

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