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(PRODUCT)RED LAUNCHES DOCUMENTARY HIGHLIGHTING GLOBAL FUND'S FIGHT AGAINST

04 May 2010 - NEW YORK - This week marks the launch of THE LAZARUS EFFECT campaign to raise awareness of the transformative effect of life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) on people living with HIV and AIDS in Africa. The campaign includes a series of public service announcements (PSA's), directed by world renowned photographer Brigitte Lacombe, which will air across broadcast and online networks in the coming months and a documentary directed by Lance Bangs and produced by Spike Jonze.

THE LAZARUS EFFECT documentary will premiere on Tuesday, May 4th at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City and will be broadcast for the first time on HBO on May 24th. The initiative is the work of (PRODUCT) REDTM, the Global Fund's largest private sector contributor.

U2's Bono, Penelope Cruz, Julian Moore and Benicio del Toro are among those featured in the campaign. The PSAs can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/joinred.

THE LAZARUS EFFECT documentary highlights the impact of this life-saving therapy on people living with HIV, whose lives have been transformed from debilitating illness to a healthier, more stable life in as little as three months. It shows how two antiretroviral pills a day that cost around 40 cents can reverse the devastating impact of HIV, bringing renewed hope and opportunity.

The campaign conveys the power of 40 cents by comparing items costing this amount, such as a stick of gum or a smear of lipstick to the value of one day's worth of antiretroviral medication.

"Our job at (RED) is to engage and enlist new constituencies in this battle against the AIDS pandemic in Africa. THE LAZARUS EFFECT shows what happens when people have access to life-saving medicine," said Susan Smith Ellis, CEO (RED). "It also shows the impact of smart, targeted aid."

The Global Fund provides about one fifth of international funding for the response to HIV. The Global Fund finances among other things antiretroviral for 50 percent of the people who currently access this lifesaving treatment in Africa.

"Access to AIDS treatment is absolutely critical to reduce the enormous social and economic impact of HIV/AIDS on households, communities, businesses and national economies particularly in the sub-Saharan region," said Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "By supporting the most vulnerable populations affected by HIV through access to essential and affordable medicines, we can provide a life-line to improved health and help people build better futures for themselves, their families and their communities," he added.

The PSA 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.

Important progress has been achieved in preventing new HIV infections and in lowering the annual number of AIDS-related deaths. However, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS is still rising. By the end of 2008, 33.4 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS, 22.4 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa. The same year, more than 14.1 million children in sub-Saharan Africa were estimated to have lost one or both parents to AIDS.

Expanded access to aids treatment has been the main cause of a decline in AIDS-related deaths in recent years, with more than 4 million people accessing the medication worldwide by the end of 2008 - a significant increase from 2001 when virtually no-one with HIV was receiving antiretroviral therapy in developing countries. However, out of a total of 9.5 million people in developing and transitional countries in immediate need of life-saving HIV drugs, this reflects access for only 42% of those in urgent need.

For more information on THE LAZARUS EFFECT, visit WWW.JOINRED.COM.

###

The Global Fund is a unique global public-private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts dealing with the three diseases.

Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the dominant financier of programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, with approved funding of US$ 19.3 billion in 144 countries. To date, programs supported by the Global Fund have saved 4.9 million lives through providing AIDS treatment for 2.5 million people, antituberculosis treatment for 6 million people and the distribution of 104 million insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria.

About (RED) and (PRODUCT)RED

(RED) 's primary objective is to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds for the Global Fund, to help eliminate AIDS in Africa . Companies whose products take on the (PRODUCT)RED mark contribute a significant percentage of the sales or portion of the profits from that product to the Global Fund to help finance AIDS programs in Africa, with an emphasis on the health of women and children. Current partners are: American Express (U.K. only), Apple, Bugaboo, Converse, Gap, Emporio Armani, FLOWE(RED) (U.K. only), Hallmark (US only), Dell, Nike, and Starbucks. Since its launch in the Spring of 2006, $140 million has been generated by (RED) partners and events for the Global Fund. (RED) money is at work in Swaziland, Rwanda, Ghana, Lesotho, Zambia, and South Africa and supports programs that have reached more than 5 million people. For more information, visit www.joinred.com.

For more information, please contact:

Dida Connor - Senior Communications Liaison Officer
Office: +41 58 791 14 59
Mobile: +41 58 791 17 01
E-mail: dida.connor@theglobalfund.org

Marcela Rojo - Communications
Office: + 41 58 791 16 79
Mobile: + 41 79 540 26 67
E-mail: marcela.rojo@theglobalfund.org

Information on the work of the Global Fund is available at www.theglobalfund.org



Source:The Global Fund
http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/pressreleases/?pr=pr_100504


 

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