Stars unite to stop HIV baby spread

Gwyneth Paltrow and Jemima Khan unite to stop HIV baby spread

Celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jemima Khan and Sir Roger Moore have united to support Unicef in the run-up to Mother’s Day with a digital campaign to highlight the plight of babies with HIV.

The stars have made a four-minute film for Unicef called The Gift, drawing attention to the ‘unwanted gift’ of HIV in developing countries.

Almost every minute, somewhere in the world, a baby is born with HIV.

Yet it costs less than £1 for treatment to prevent mothers from passing the virus to their newborn child.

Unicef has launched a petition calling on Chancellor Alistair Darling to ensure G8 countries stick to their promise to give £760 million for worldwide treatment.

Britain is due to hand over £46 million to the project by 2010.

Jemima Khan said: ‘All that’s needed now is funding and political will. World leaders promised to help but we are yet to see any concrete action or money.’

Gwyneth Paltrow added: ‘I hope that this new short film will raise awareness and funds about this issue and Unicef will be able to reach every woman with the vital care and medicines they need.’

With the right drugs, pregnant HIV-positive women only have a two per cent risk of passing the virus on to their child.

To view the film, visit www.unicef.org.uk/thegift

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