The second edition of Red Ribbon Express, a campaign vehicle to create awareness of HIV/AIDS among rural people, reached the Chengalpattu Junction in Kancheepuram district on Tuesday.
The first Red Ribbon Express was launched in December 2007 and covered nearly 50,000 villages in about 12 months.
Welcoming the train, Collector Santosh K. Misra said that the campaign train was launched by the National AIDS Control Society in association with the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sankatan, UNICEF, the Union Ministry for Railways and the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation with the object of reaching out to the rural people. It would cover 22 States.
The eight-coach train consists of multi-sectoral, multi-media and multi-theme exhibition in four coaches, an auditorium in one coach and counselling centre in the sixth. It entered Tamil Nadu on March 14 via Nagarcoil after passing through Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. It was flagged off from New Delhi in December 2009, Mr. Misra said.
Giving a brief account of the efforts taken in Kancheepuram district to control HIV/AIDS, Mr. Misra said that 38 integrated counselling and testing centres (ICTCs) had been set up to provide free counselling and HIV testing services. Hitherto, a total 97,856 people had approached the ICTCs and 4,570 of them tested HIV positive. Kancheepuram MP P. Viswanathan and Chengalpattu MLA K. Arumugham were also present.