I’m writing to encourage you to tune in tonight for the premier of the HBO Documentary “The Lazarus Effect” at 9PM ET/PT on HBO and YouTube at 9:30PM ET/PT. The half hour documentary - produced by (RED)™ and Anonymous Content, directed by Lance Bangs and executive produced by Spike Jonze - helps raise awareness of the transformative effect of antiretroviral medicine for those living with HIV in Africa.
"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 around 40 cents a day. 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.
To date, Starbucks has generated funds equivalent to more than 14 million days of medicine through the sale of select (STARBUCKS)RED products. That is something we all can be very proud of. Enjoy the documentary and thank you for your support.