This is the third phase of the AIDS awareness campaign.

The Red Ribbon Express is back.

Kochiites will have the opportunity to visit the AIDS awareness train slated to visit the district on April 29 and 30. Red Ribbon Express was flagged off on January 12, National Youth Day, in New Delhi. It would cover as many as 21 States, before winding up on December 1, World AIDS Day, in New Delhi.

R. Sudhakaran, Ernakulam District Medical Officer, said here on Wednesday that the train will host eight wagons, with each carrying a slew of models and awareness kits in a bid to educate the public on AIDS and the ways to combat the disease.

One of the wagons would accommodate a mini-projector along with a seating arrangement for over 50 people. This is the third phase of the campaign, which successfully completed its initial two phases in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Prevention

The Red Ribbon Express is a campaign intended to allay fears about HIV/AIDS in the minds of the public.

Officials said that the aim is to educate the public on prevention of HIV and the modern treatment methods and also to reduce the stigma associated with the disease.

Coaches 1 to 3 will feature an awareness exhibition on HIV/AIDS, while coach 4 will feature public health and prevention of infectious diseases. Coach 5 has been arranged as an auditorium, where training workshops for health workers will be held. Coach 6 will have doctors who will offer HIV counselling and testing.

The exhibition mainly targets women, children, people's representatives, NCC and police personnel, and educational institutions to strengthen awareness about HIV.

The train is scheduled to be arrive in Alappuzha on May 1 and 2, Kollam on May 3 and 4 and it will reach Thiruvananthapuram on May 5 where exhibitions will be held on specially erected platforms.

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