WASHINGTON -- More than 1,500 churches around the country will be dedicating part of their services this Sunday to praying against AIDS and for efforts to wipe it out.
Churches taking part in Lazarus Sunday have been asked to play a clip from an HBO documentary that points out a cheap and stunningly successful method to fight HIV/AIDS. It's known as the Lazarus Effect, which is caused by taking two little 20-cent pills a day.
"For less than 40 cents and within 40 days, people literally bounce back from death's door, and they call it the Lazarus Effect because it's a sort of resurrection," explained Rev. Adam Phillips, faith relations manager with One.org.
At One.org, Phillips has been helping to lead this fight for years. He pointed out that in 2002, only 50,000 AIDS-afflicted Africans had these medicines. But because of a massive move to fight back, Phillips said, "We've been able to get those numbers up to four million."
But Phillips added that millions more Africans still need the drugs.
"One's not looking for your money. We're looking for your voice," he said.
In a hi-tech age, churches can get involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS by going to One.org/faith and downloading free resources to show on this Lazarus Sunday.
"We've got a bulletin insert. We've got an exclusive 90-second clip that you can show in your church. We've got worship slides, sermon helps," Phillips added.
Watch the entire Lazarus Effect documentary online.
AIDS has already claimed 20 million African lives. One of the saddest facts is almost 200,000 toddlers and babies die of AIDS in Africa every year compared to only nine infants and toddlers in the U.S.
If the drugs could be put in the hands of those with HIV, almost every one of those young deaths could be prevented.
--Published April 6, 2011