A Vienna-based progressive men's magazine is hoping to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS by publishing a controversial cover printed using HIV-positive blood infused ink.

The cover is featured to celebrate a special edition of the Vangardist magazine highlighting stories of "HIV heroes".

Jason Romeyko, the Executive Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland –the company that helped execute the cover told CBS News that he hopes the cover will help "reignite these [AIDS/HIV] conversations."

"There's been an 80 percent increase in HIV in the last 10 years -- that's according to the World Health Organization -- and that's pretty shocking," said Romeyko.

"The reason why that's happening is people just aren't talking about it anymore."

An estimated 3,000 copies of the HIV-positive special edition of the magazine have been published so far for distribution.

Behind the scenes

Describing the three HIV-positive people who donated the blood for the special edition as "incredible individuals", Romeyko assured readers the cover is "100% safe" to touch.

"Scientifically, the virus dies naturally outside the body. It takes about 30 minutes for it to decompose," said Romeyko.

The process behind infusing the HIV-positive blood with the ink began with sending the blood samples to a lab at the University of Innsbruck.

The blood was next pasturized, to neutralize the virus and prevent transmission, and infused with the ink used in the printing press.

"We wanted people to actually hold the magazine and just make the comparison -- there's nothing wrong with holding someone who's HIV positive," said Romeyko.

A message on the magazine cover reads: "Break the seal and help break the stigma."