April 11th, 2011
10:34 PM ET

Explaining the 'Lazarus effect' on AIDS patients

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

The "Lazarus effect" is a phrase coined by doctors and relief workers in Africa to describe what happens to AIDS patients after they start receiving antiretroviral medicines.

On Sunday, churches around the world read from the Gospel of John and heard the story of Lazarus, in which Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, as part of Lazarus Sunday.

The ONE campaign, an advocacy group co-founded by the rock star Bono to help alleviate poverty and fight AIDS in Africa, hoped the metaphor would carry on to their project to get people more involved in AIDS advocacy.

The Rev. Adam Phillips from the ONE Campaign explained to CNN's T.J. Holmes how AIDS patients can go from near death to life in 40 days thanks to a medical treatment that costs just 40 cents a day. 

Churches that participated in Lazarus Sunday also showed a clip from the documentary called "The Lazarus Effect," about the battle against AIDS.  It was directed by Lance Bangs, probably best known for his work on the "Jackass films."

You can read more about Lazarus Effect here and see clips from the documentary.

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Africa • Christianity • Faith & Health • Movies • TV-CNN Newsroom • United States

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Corcorand Rodiguezd

    Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks

    August 1, 2012 at 1:32 am |
  2. M

    As always science does the work and religion takes the credit. If it weren't for religions decrying the use of condoms in the first place the sitiuation wouldn't be so bad.

    April 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  3. GSA

    These ppl are very religous, I don't see the problem of explaining the effects of the medication through a form they will understand and relate to and will follow as well. If it saves a life, why not?

    April 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  4. ounce of prevention

    Are these the same churches who don't want condoms distributed in Africa because they prevent pregnancy as well as AIDS? Good work, God! Religion wants to be the cause AND the solution of the problem. Like an abusive spouse, they'll beat you up and then try to kiss it better.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Mamulya

      Halelluyah! Ye speak the truth :-))

      April 13, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  5. Ralu

    This is the least you could do since your farmaceutic companies are the ones that test their drugs on them.You fake !Why didnt you help them before?At least send them food.....you've sent them AIDS to test the vaccins on them.Why dont you say how AIDS appeard?I bet you know it was made in the lab.......Disgusting ! God damn America and all those countries who helped it to those situations

    April 12, 2011 at 3:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Did you perchance stop taking your meds because of the vast pharmaceutical conspiracy?
      Unless you can cite some studies/references for your wild (and poorly phrased) conspiracy theories, I'm afraid you're just going to come off as a nutter.

      April 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  6. Anti-looney

    Medicine and science help where prayers did not. Religion takes the credit. Right.

    April 12, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • Ralu

      Dont speak if you know nothing about what religions should be and you're not a scientist either....you're opinion has weak roots

      April 12, 2011 at 3:56 am |
  7. Reality

    Great acts of charity but very bad religious history/theology.

    To wit:

    The "raising" of Lazarus appears in only John's Gospel, the least historic of the four. Such an important event if it had occurred would have been noted in all the gospels and other related doc-uments from the time period.

    e.g. Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 513 and on p. 416, "Anyone in search of the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John......This verdict is the consensus among New Testament scholars."

    Conclusion: The better name would be "Merlin Sunday" !-

    April 11, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  8. CatholicMom

    God bless the men and women who devote their lives to finding cures for this and other diseases.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • Ralu

      May God hear you .We are all responsable of what happens there

      April 12, 2011 at 3:55 am |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.