A large number of people from all over the country came together in the Capital on Sunday to take part in a community run to raise awareness about the continued support needed to address the prevalence of HIV among high-risk groups and celebrate the diversity of affected communities.

Organised by India HIV/AIDS Alliance, the run attracted people from affected communities, celebrities, government representatives, activists and students, with an objective to promote equality, justice and empowerment among marginalised communities that are affected by HIV in India.

The “All-India Run” was flagged off at 9 a.m. by Dr. P. M. Nair, Director-General of the National Disaster Response Force and Civic Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs. It began from Safdarjung Tomb in Lodhi Estate and ended at the Delhi Blind School.

Keeping with the global theme for World AIDS Day 2012 – “Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths” – the event celebrated health, life and creativity through athletics, musical performances, drama and speeches by leaders from affected communities.

James Robertson, Country Director of India HIV/AIDS Alliance, said: “World AIDS Day is an opportunity for us to unite and renew our commitment to stopping HIV in its tracks. The All-India Run & Cultural Event is raising awareness about the epidemic and the urgent need to maintain our attention on high-risk groups: sex workers, people who use drugs, transgenders, men who have sex with men, and people living with HIV. Today we recommit to this cause and celebrate affected communities living lives in good health and free from stigma and discrimination.”

The programme was co-sponsored by Population Council, Citibank, UNDP, Delhi Front Runners, CFAR and Blind Relief Association.

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