ARVs have had dramatic results in some of these people’s lives. An 11-year-old girl, who weighed 24 pounds and was too sickly to attend school, is returned to good health and the top of her class. A man who could do little more than sit is restored and able to be a contributing member of his family. The people we meet are Zambian, but their stories typify the continent—where treatment is available, people live; where it is not, they die.
Comparisons show the progress some patients have made in as little as three months, and the reference to Lazarus (whom Jesus raised from the dead) is apt. For those who believe that all people are our neighbors, The Lazarus Effect is a welcome glimpse into how we can help each other. The money being used for treatment may come from outside, but Africans helping Africans is the focus.
There are three main sources of funding involved in this miracle, for miracles no longer come cheaply. They are (RED) and (PRODUCT) RED (current partners include American Express [UK], Apple, Bugaboo, Converse, Gap, Emporio Armani, Hallmark US, Dell, Nike, and Starbucks; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector, and affected communities); and PEPFAR (“the largest effort by any nation to combat a single disease,” launched in 2003 by former President George W. Bush).
The Lazarus Effect, presented by (RED), Anonymous Content, and HBO Documentary Films, “is at the center of a multi-media campaign by (RED) to raise awareness about the impact of large scale AIDS programs at work in Sub-Saharan Africa.” It’s an amazing film that shows what people can do when they dedicate themselves to helping others.