(RED) is very sorry to announce that Bwalya Liteta, who features in The Lazarus Effect film, passed away on August 14, 2010 at the age of 12, three months after the premiere of the film. She had been battling complications from AIDS and ultimately died from heart failure.
Bwalya was an HIV positive child who had lost both her parents. (RED) first met Bwalya in May 2009 and filmed her recovery from near death to robust health with the help of ARVs. Everyone who met her was inspired by her quiet determination, and delighted in her progress and the way she lit up over the fact that she was now top of her school and back playing her favorite games with her friends.
Nearly half a million children will be born with HIV this year - but with increased investments and the right policies, it's possible that we could have a world where virtually no child is born with HIV by 2015. Many organizations including (RED), the Global Fund, ONE and the Gates Foundation are focused on making this promise a reality.
Bwalya's death is a tragic loss for all those who knew and loved her. We send our deepest sympathy to her family and the medical staff who cared for her.