Gwyneth Paltrow Records PSA to Prevent the Spread of HIV
02/27/2008 AT 02:35 PM EST
Paltrow's video clip was launched online Wednesday.
The actress agreed to take part in the PSA after being approached by pal Jemima Khan – ex-girlfriend of Hugh Grant – who is urging world leaders to honor their 2007 pledge for AIDS funding that would allow all pregnant women with HIV to receive treatment and care to ensure that their babies are born free from the virus.
"I asked Gwyneth if she would agree to do the voiceover for the film as she is a mother with a global profile who I know is a supporter of UNICEF," Khan tells PEOPLE exclusively.
Paltrow, 35, narrates the four-minute dramatization of a poem by Simon Armitage that deals with the unwanted "gift" of mothers passing on the virus to their unborn children.
"According to UNICEF, a baby is born with HIV almost every minute of every day somewhere in the world. The virus is passed from mother to child during the birth or pregnancy," said Paltrow in a statement released during the film launch. "I have just found out that this can be prevented for less than $2 yet very few women in the poorer countries of the world can get the medicine they need to ensure their baby is born free from HIV. 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."