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Red Ribbon Express: India's fight against HIV

Dec 01, 2010 04:28 PM IST India India

New Delhi: Being hailed as the biggest AIDS awareness campaign in the world, over the past one year, the Red Ribbon Express completed its second phase of travel, chugging across the country to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS.

It is addressing the cause of HIV and AIDS to the people at the grassroots level like auto rickshaw drivers who need to be educated about the risks and preventive measures too.

The train has covered a total of 25,000 kilometers in 22 states across the country. A staggering 81 lakh visitors have logged on; about 36,000 tested and some 57,000 counselled.

Those on board also stage skits, to sensitise people on the dangers of HIV/AIDS and the kind of health facilities available. They are now aiming at reducing the stigma that is still associated with the disease.

India saw 1.2 lakh new cases of HIV/AIDS in 2009 and more than 18 thousand infants were born HIV positive in India alone.

According to the latest UNAIDS figures awareness can't come too soon with such a high number of inflicted people.