Rambagh, Apr 19 : Personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) are participating in an AIDS awareness programme that began on Saturday. Wary of its personnel becoming victims of AIDS, the CRPF is educating its personnel about the disease.
Officers and soldiers are being instructed about the precautions to be taken to safe themselves from the deadly disease.
"We have established condom vending machines in our campus after getting the green signal from the company. Since people are often awkward and shy while buying condoms, we have taken care to maintain privacy while placing the machines," said Dr. M. V. Rao, chief medical officer, CRPF Group Center. "Most of the time, we are on the move. We know that AIDS is spreading across the world and were provided instruction on combating the menace, " said Shabir Ahmed, a CRPF personnel.
"A Force Aids Control Cell" has been set up at the central level under which regional aids control cell operate. The CRPF also plans to establish its own Voluntary Confidential Counselling Testing (VCCT) center to manage the prevention of this deadly disease better.
In 2007, the Home Ministry had informed Parliament that a total of 1,363 paramilitaries are currently suffering from AIDS.
Of these, 521 are from the CRPF, 458 from the Assam Rifles, while the Border Security Force (BSF) has reported 239 HIV/AIDS cases, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) 105, Indo-Tibetan Border Police 25, National Security Guard six and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) nine cases respectively.