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HIV Awareness Organization (RED) Launches Celebrity Supported Lazarus Effect Campaign

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(RED) has launched The Lazarus Effect Campaign to raise awareness of the antiretroviral medicine for those living with HIV in Africa. The pills cost only 40 cents per day. Celebs star in a video for the campaign where they compare the cost of the pills to trivial items that were obtained for the same 40 cents.

The campaign is directed by photographer Brigitte Lacombe and features a star-studded ensemble including 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.”

“The Lazarus Effect” references the biblical story of Lazarus who was resurrected four days after his death by Jesus. The term is used to describe the effect of antiretroviral medicine on those living with HIV as the pills, which cost 40 cents a day, allow a person dying from aids to regain their strength within 40 days.

The Lazarus Effect is demonstrated in the photos above—Motselisi Thaisi before the treatment (L) and 90 days after beginning the antiretroviral medicine to treat her HIV (R).

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