An exhibition on AIDS prevention and management is on
Thrissur: The Red Ribbon Express on Wednesday chugged into Thrissur railway station as part of its country-wide anti-AIDS campaign yatra.
The train with specially-designed interiors houses an exhibition on AIDS prevention and management organised jointly by the National AIDS Control Organisation, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sanghatan, Indian Railways, UNICEF and the State AIDS Control Societies. It was flagged off on December 1, 2009, from New Delhi and will cover 156 railway stations across 24 States before ending its journey in December 2010.
The train stopped at five stations in Kerala and will proceed to halt at four more.
As many as 36,000 people watched the exhibition when the train stopped at Kasaragod, Kannur, Tirur, Palakkad and Thrissur, according to N. Venugopal, deputy chief executive officer of Kerala State AIDS Control Society.
In all, 1,169 people made use of the counselling services offered and 370 persons got themselves tested for HIV in the clinic set up in the train. Three persons tested positive.
In all, 1,197 people watched the exhibition at Thrissur. Sixty-nine people sought the help of counsellors and 30 persons underwent HIV tests. One person tested positive.
“As many as 1,400 government employees, Kudumbashree workers and members of local bodies were trained at five stations to lead AIDS awareness programmes. Two caravans set off from five railway stations to take the campaign to rural areas,” said Mr. Venugopal.
Inaugurating the exhibition here, Mayor R. Bindu said that discrimination against people affected by HIV/AIDS should end. District panchayat president Ambadi Venu and singer Franco were present. Cultural programmes were presented.
Pointing out that there were 23 lakhs HIV/AIDS affected people in the country, the exhibition called for increased awareness among all sections of society. Of the HIV/AIDS affected in India, 39 per cent are women.