A city-based physician set a world record by making and displaying the largest-ever awareness red ribbon here on Tuesday.

Guinness World Records adjudicator Damain Field declared the ribbon displayed near RK Beach in front of a galaxy of VIPs as a new record by Kutikuppala Surya Rao. Dr. Rao, a Padma Shri recipient, broke the earlier record of the world’s largest awareness ribbon made in Dublin in South Africa on World AIDS Day in 2008.

The ribbon made by Dr. Rao as per the specifications of the Guinness World Records is 110 metres long, base to top admeasuring 49 metres and width of 220 cm. It took two weeks to make the giant ribbon.

Dr. Rao expressed satisfaction over the new record and dedicated the feat to Vizagites. “I am grateful to the people of Visakhapatnam for extending their support to my efforts to create awareness on HIV/AIDS,” he said. Speaking at a meeting to celebrate the new record, District Collector J. Syamal Rao complimented Dr. Rao and said the initiative would further help in expressing solidarity with the people living with HIV/AIDS and redoubling efforts to sensitise people on having safe sex. Mayor Pulusu Janardhana Rao said society should not discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS and called for moral support to the victims to live with dignity. With regular drugs and diet supplement, the patients could lead a normal life, he added. E.A.S. Sarma, former IAS officer, said a massive awareness campaign was required to prevent people with high-risk behaviour from acquiring the dreaded virus. He said more efforts were required to contain the spread of the virus. S.V. Adinarayana Rao, Director-General of Prema Hospital, called upon the people to take a pledge to make Visakhapatnam AIDS-free.

GITAM University Vice-Chancellor G. Subrahmanyam, Dr. Revari and Geetanjali from National AIDS Control Organisation, Dr. Manisha from the Navy and others were present.

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