Red Ribbon Express to arrive in K'taka on July 21

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Bangalore, July 18 (UNI) The Red Ribbon Express, on a mission to 'unite India against HIV/AIDS' will enter Karnataka on July 21.

The Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society has undertaken a massive preparatory exercise to ensure that the train's mission to education people on HIV/AIDS was fulfilled by involving people from all sections of Society.

Talking to newsmen here today, Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Department Commissioner Srinivasacharya said that the train arriving from Jolarpettai in Tamil Nadu, would halt at 11 Stations like Bangarpet, Contonement (Bangalore), Mysore, Hassan, Arsikere, Birur, Shimoga, Hospet, Hubli, Dharwad and Belgaum before heading for Madgaon in Goa on August 14.

He said that at every halt, Nehru Yuva Kendra volunteers visit neighbouring villages in teams covering four villages in a doing to perform cultural programmes on HIV/AIDS. Besides two buses, being organised by Population Services International, with mobile exhibitions covering the district's periphery.

The seven-coach train on a year-long journey across the country to spread HIV/AIDS awareness, which was flagged off by Congress Supremo Sonia Gandhi at New Delhi on December One 2007-World AIDS Day, covers 24 States, making 180 halts covering a distance of 27,000 kms before returning to National Capital on November 28-2008.

Of the total seven coaches, three coaches of the train are dedicated for exhibition and display on basic information on HIV infestion, routes of transmission, protecting oneself from HIV/AIDS as well as on HIV counseling and testing and other relevant issues.

There is a 60 seater auditorium built in the coach for in-depth training for cohesive groups such as health care providers and elected representatives. Two-hour long orientation, sensitization sessions would be held.

Counselors and Doctors in cubicles would undertaking confidential counseling on HIV/AIDS as well as syndromic treatment of STI/RTI cases.

Conceptualised by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the Red Ribbon Express project was being implemented by the national AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) in collaboration with the Indian Railways, the NYKS, State AIDS Control Societies and UNISEF.

UNI MSP RS SKB1619

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