The Lazarus Effect

2010, Health  -   26 Comments

The Lazarus EffectThe 30 minute film illustrates the transformative effect of life-saving antiretroviral medicine through the stories of HIV+ people in Zambia.

By taking the ARV medicine – 2 life-saving pills that cost around 40 cents a day – in as few as 40 days, the medicine can help bring people back to life.

HIV/AIDS is a preventable and treatable disease yet it has killed more than 20 million people in Africa. In 2002 only 50,000 people had access to the medication due to its high cost.

Today, thanks to reduced costs and increased access, about 4 million people in Africa are now receiving treatment. Still, 3,600 people die every day in sub-Saharan Africa from AIDS. “The Lazarus Effect” film shows that this needn’t be the case.

Ratings: 8.36/10from 11 users.

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26 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Manu Hashidate

    This documentary 'the Lazarus Effect' is totally suckworthy in that it doles out the sad stories but remains succinct on details! Surely I must be evil if I criticise a woman who lost her husband and three kids to 'HIV', but realise, I am not criticising her personally, but the agenda-driven documentary makers. This tragic, sincere advocate of ARV's never once says what actual disease killed he immediate family, or, perhaps she did in the blooper reels ... but HBO's benefactor found the film worked better for them by just screaming an 'everyone dies of HIV/AIDS' unless blah blah blah message!

    There are HIV positive, ARV-free 'elite controllers' out there who've clocked-up 28 years without symptoms! That's without ARV's - and without HBO's evangelising for big phamrma!

  2. Herald

    The West has no conscience. The origins of AIDS is well known and its effect was well predicted. Now the west is profiting from the suffering of Africans. But what goes around comes around. That's for sure.

    1. stopbitchingandtakingourmoney

      Uh drugs here are ALOT more costly than the ones GIVEN to Africa.

  3. Joseph Carl Ruger


  4. tone_deaf


    Yes, agreed. Africans in poverty will have a higher susceptibility to HIV due to things like poor sanitation, being without clean water, high incidences of malaria. The list goes on. From this when the immune system is compromised, HIV is more prevalent. Enormous bucks are going into aids and drugs for HIV and aids. You're very right about drugs not changing these underlying causes.

  5. bobthebboy

    my friend cured his HIV he took no drugs and only ate organic food ive been told that cancer can also be cured through nutrition though in all western countries its illegal to treat cancer in this way

    1. dewflirt

      It's not illegal to refuse treatment though and you are more than welcome to treat yourself with vegetables. Are you brave enough to try it ? Would you take that risk with your own child ? Cancer treatment is rough but again you have a choice, definite death or possible life.

    2. bobthebboy

      its illegal for doctors to offer it as option if it was my son im not shore havent done enough reseach on it i know some one trying it in mexico at the gerson clinic they were given a year to live we will see what happens both my parents died of cancer they tried mainsteam medical option and both were dead in 6 months its highly likely they be dead i six months just eating well but definite death for all who try this ways is just not true

    3. Samuel Morrissey

      It is illegal for the doctors to offer to 'treat' your condition with vegetables/nutrition because there are no peer reviewed studies nor the evidence these would provide that suggest that eating healthily can 'cure' cancer or aids etc. There is some I think that shows that people who eat a lot of certain foods like soya tend to get cancer less often, but there is always room for speculation about other environmental factors and genetics. Besides that (and I think the doctors agree on this) eating healthily is something that you should do all the time, not only when you are ill as a means to cure. If you do this the treatments that doctors can offer have the best chance of working.

      My father was diagnosed with primary liver cancer presenting with a 5.4cm tumor 2.5 years ago. Without treatment for this condition at this stage of advancement the median life expectancy is 6 months (from all recorded incidences). Some survived longer of course but NONE survived more than 8-10 months - so without treatment, death from the condition IS inevitable. Likewise, when HIV develops into full AIDS, death from the condition is also inevitable, within a timescale. My fathers tumor is now 6.9cm and not viable for further treatment apart from oral chemotherapy (kind of a last chance life extender) and the doctors think he will have another year or thereabouts of good quality living. I make sure we both eat healthily and his appetite is as strong as it ever was. The point is the doctors take eating healthily as a given or at least they want to be able to. If you refuse to eat healthily but still want treatment it is confusing for them, as it suggests that you are really not that concerned with your condition however life threatening it may be. Smoking is another one that gives them this difficulty.

      You say your friend cured his HIV by eating organic food? I say this is very unlikely and it is highly probable that either he still carries the virus which may or may not develop into AIDS in the future or is one of the very lucky few whose bodies own immune system is genetically better adapted to combat retrovirus'. If he is free of the virus, and I sincerely hope the truth of this small possibility, how can you be sure it was solely down to eating organic food?

      Regards, Sam.

    4. Udi Subasinghe

      Check Pranajeeva Oil during chemotherapy

    5. dewflirt

      Sorry to hear you lost both parents, my mum died some years ago from leukaemia, she only managed 5 months. I doubt whether an organic diet would have made any difference, the only things that ever made her feel any better were morphine and other peoples blood. Still, I encouraged her to take the chemo and also to take part in trials for a new drug. Rather that than cross our fingers and hope for the best. I can't believe any doctor would prescribe such drugs for anything but the best intentions. They know the risks and the side affects, all based on years of research and experience. If they could achieve a favourable result any other way (and cheaper) they would be the first to promote its use. I'll take their expertise over guess work any day. Well, like they say, the only thing you have to do is die. Hope your ok :)

    6. bobthebboy

      thanks mum passed from leukaemia also

    7. dewflirt

      Keep smiling bob :)

    8. Udi Subasinghe

      Check YouTube for THC

    9. dewflirt

      She and the Weed were old friends :)

    10. Bill Farley

      With heavy on the word, "possible."

    11. dewflirt

      Possible living is still better than definitely dying, crossed fingers never yet saved a life ;)

    12. jackmax

      G'day Flirt,

      there is no greater reward in life than saving another, on the same token the repercussions can also be detrimental in some cases.

      Whilst a serving member of the defence force returning home from an exercise a car accident happened in front of us in which one of the vehicles carrying a mother and two toddlers was struck and rolled, Myself and another soldier ran over to help in doing so we got the three occupants out. After the mother was removed from the vehicle, and in the safety of our fellow soldiers, Danny and myself grabbed a child each cut them out using our military issue fighting knife. I had got back to where other members of our unit were milling around the mother giving her comfort, with Danny not far behind, when the car exploded with the back door hitting Danny's back knocking him to the ground. Although the force knocked him aground he still maintained a presence of mind to roll to avoid landing on this toddler directly. The mother was so thankful for saving her children's life, we both felt like kings.

      Approximately one year later our 2IC called the two of us into the office to inform us that the parents had filed a law suit against Danny, myself and the Army for damages as one of the children had permanent spinal injuries, which there case only had to prove a possible contributing factor. I have no doubt that during the course of our action we were rough in our evacuation however both children were alive. We were both told that the Army would look after us which they did.

      That family walked out of court with approximately $750,000 due to the fact we were wearing a uniform and the legal advise they received. We were as our OC told us we're easy picking as the defence force will pay up to avoid any adverse publicity. Mind you this is over twenty years ago and the military has changed dramatically in the PR department since.

      PS. We both received bravery awards both civil and military for our actions...go figure that one out

  6. Buddha is an Atheist

    "HIV may be benign" - Luc Montaigner, Nobel Prize-winning discoverer of the HIV virus.

  7. tone_deaf

    I question the making of this documentary. This drug is also known to cause fatalities and destroy immune systems beyond what HIV patients previously had. I've read the accumulative toxicity over a long period can be fatal. "lifetime drugs"? For many this would have positive short term effects. I just don't understand why they are glorifying a drug which are black box drugs, containing the most severe warning that the drug has the highest level of toxicity with the possibility of death.
    On the other hand, rather than to watch your loved ones wither away from the disease. But i can't imagine it works for everyone. I'm no one to understand the complications that come with HIV, the virus itself, politically or drug wise. I just thought it was off balanced.

    1. sdvahl

      Yes, in the short-term these drugs save lives but we do not know what the long-term effects are, and the drugs don't change the underlying causes of so much disease in Africa.

    2. dewflirt

      Only education and condoms can help to prevent the spread of HIV. As for the drugs, well you have a choice. Short term effect of HIV Aids > death, long term effects of ARVs > longer life and then death. I know which one I would choose.

    3. JG

      I agree with your comments, only big pharma will be rubbing there hands with glee at the prospect of all these life time patients.
      And they can pull the plug when ever they choose.
      I am sure that a cure is availble for AIDS, but like Cancer, will never be allowed to come on the market, these corporations are rich enough to make sure that never happens, very similar to free energy.
      We also have to question the history of AIDS, why it is so rampant in Africa, we know it started in the gay community in the states, but I doubt it spread just through sex in Africa, It is a way of culling the population, and possible been implimented through the vaccination programme that is FREE.... for a reason.

    4. James Wytte

      JG, I believe you are not completely wrong in your view of the origin and spread HIV/AID. The west is up to something........

  8. kris sto

    Heartbreaking :(
    Wonderful people!

  9. dmxi

    it's a shame that this doesn't make headlines.