Patna, Feb 13: The 'Red Ribbon Express', the world's largest social mobilisation campaign against HIV/AIDS, arrived here this morning to educate the masses about the deadly virus.
After spending three days here, the train will leave for Gaya on February 15. Before returning to Delhi on December 1, 2009, the train will leave for New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal on March 7. The project aims to spread information regarding primary prevention services; to develop an understanding of the disease, to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with AIDS and to enhance people's knowledge about preventive measures, health habits and lifestyle.
The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation has conceived the idea to combat HIV/AIDS through a specially-designed seven coach train.
Of the seven coaches, three displays educational materials, one kept for interactive orientation and discussion and one for counselling and providing medical services.
The train also showcases exhibition on HIV/AIDS and politicians, film actors and small screen celebrities on board to create awareness about HIV/AIDS.
Besides, the train presents audio-visual inputs and films to inform about the syndrome in interesting way.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi flagged off the 'Red Ribbon Express' on December 1.
India has roughly 2.5 million people infected with HIV, less than half the number of cases that previous studies estimated.
An earlier U.N. study had estimated 5.7 million HIV cases, which would have been the highest total in the world.
But as per the latest available data, India, which has a population of 1.1 billion, has fewer HIV cases than South Africa and Nigeria.