Conchita Wurst talks about Vangardist magazine’s ‘blood of HIV positive people’ issue
A few weeks ago, I read about an Austrian gay magazine called Vangardist, and their latest issue that had been printed with the blood of people who are HIV positive.
The reason? To bring attention to the stigma many people living with HIV all over the world have to deal with on a daily basis. So, 3,000 copies of their 18,000 print run that month were printed with ink that had been mixed with HIV positive blood.
At the time, I thought it was a brilliant idea. After all, shock value often brings attention to an issue more than does something a little more low key.
And this particular issue? It’s important, as so many people are still ignorant when it comes to HIV, choosing to believe it’s easy to catch from casual contact, and that they can contract the disease from bodily fluids, including blood, that have been outside the body for days or weeks (you can’t – HIV dies quickly once it leaves the body).
Fast forward a few weeks and Eurovision Song Contest winner, Austrian singer Conchita Wurst, has chosen to support Vangardist and this issue of their magazine, and to speak out against the stigma people living with HIV have to cope with, by recording a video she has just uploaded to her YouTube channel.
In it, she shows the magazine, opens the plastic wrapper, holds the magazine and signs it. All the while talking about discrimination. As Conchita says, “It’s important to talk about that as, unfortunately, it’s still a huge deal to be HIV positive, and the stigma to it is just awful”.
Conchita then went a step further saying she will be signing 10 copies of the Vangardist “This magazine has been printed with the blood of HIV positive people” issue. Each of those 10 copies will then go to 10 of the people who share her video.
Now, as someone who worked with HIV positive people 25 years ago, when the discrimination they faced was even worse than today, I’m happy to see Conchita Wurst talking about this. After all, her message has always been about the need for human rights for everyone, and that includes people living with HIV.
And, as someone who lived with someone who was HIV positive for several years, and came in physical contact with his blood several times, I’m also here to stress if it was possible to catch HIV from blood outside the body, I’m sure I’d be HIV positive too. I’m not.
So, give Vangardist magazine and this issue support by sharing Conchita Wurst’s video (you may win one of the 10 copies Conchita signed if you do). And, of course, give Conchita herself support for promoting this cause by writing her a nice message on her YouTube channel, her Facebook page or by sending her a tweet.
You can find out more about the subject at HIV Heroes.
Now watch Conchita’s video below and, yes, even though this is an important and serious subject, you are still allowed to laugh when she says “People”, because it’s cute — and funny. And so is she.