(RED) has announced the launch of The Lazarus Effect Campaign, a multi-platform campaign across TV, online and print, including an HBO documentary airing on May 24, that will help raise awareness of the transformative effect of antiretroviral medicine for those living with HIV in Africa.
Launching April 29 on HBO, the awareness campaign will roll out across various TV and online networks in the coming weeks. The campaign equates the relative value of 40 cents by comparing trivial items worth 40 cents e.g. a stick of gum, a smear of lipstick — to the value of one day’s worth of life transforming antiretroviral medication.
The campaign, directed by renowned photographer Brigitte Lacombe, features Bono, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Julianne Moore, Naomi Watts, Claire Danes, Alek Wek, Iman, John Turturro, Toni Collette, Hugh Jackman, Orlando Bloom, Lucy Liu, Gabourey Sidibe, Kerry Washington, Bryan Cranston, LeAnn Rimes, Jane Lynch, Michelle Rodriguez, Gwen Stefani, Hayden Christensen, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Don Cheadle, Ludacris, Common, Benicio del Toro, Dakota Fanning, Christy Turlington and the Jonas Brothers.
“At the heart of this campaign, is a message of progress and the results of smart targeted aid,” says Susan Smith Ellis, CEO, (RED). "We felt it was important to show that people’s lives are being transformed every day by medication funded by organizations such as the Global Fund and PEPFAR. This story needs to be told so that people understand that the money is working, there is real progress and that we need to continue making this treatment accessible to those who need it."
“More than 20 million people have died in Africa from a disease that can now be treated for as little as 40 cents a day,” says Kerry Washington. “It is staggering how little it costs to make such dramatic changes in someone’s life. I’m lending my voice to this campaign to ensure more people learn about this and that we invest in ensuring that AIDS is not a death sentence merely because of where you’re born.”
“The Lazarus Effect” is a term that references the biblical story of Lazarus and his resurrection. The term has been used broadly to describe the transformative effect of antiretroviral medicine on those living with HIV. A person dying from AIDS can regain their strength and vitality in as few as 40 days after gaining access to antiretroviral pills that cost just 40 cents a day. The campaign, including the documentary, draws attention to the impact of increased access to this medicine during the past decade and the hope it has brought to millions of people.
HIV/AIDS is a preventable and treatable disease, yet it has killed more than 20 million people in Africa. In 2002, nearly 29 million people in sub-Saharan Africa had HIV, yet only 50,000 people could afford the $10,000 a year treatment needed to stay alive. Today, thanks to increased political support, a push by global health organizations and contributions from the private sector, the cost of ARV drugs is now around 40 cents a day and more than three million people in Africa are now receiving treatment.
The awareness campaign is a companion piece to the upcoming HBO Documentary produced by (RED) and Anonymous Content called “The Lazarus Effect”. The documentary will air on HBO Monday, May 24, 9PM ET/PT. The half hour documentary, directed by Lance Bangs and executive produced by Spike Jonze, captures a series of true-life resurrections on screen—ones that don’t require a single act of magic or faith to make the miracle happen.
Watch the PSA here.