Kolkata, Nov 30 : Scores of people ran in Kolkata on Sunday to spread awareness about AIDS.
Organised by UNICEF and a self help group, 'Red Ribbon Marathon', organised a day ahead of the World AIDS Day on December 01, was aimed at spreading awareness about children suffering from HIV.
"HIV/AIDS amongst children is still very minimal so we are hoping that with this kind of activity, with this kind of action, people will wake up and they'll (form) strategy and the action towards combating HIV/AIDS. They would also focus on children because they are being left out now in terms of treatment," said Lori Calvo, State Representative, UNICEF, West Bengal.
Children are still marginalised when it comes to awareness and treatment for the dreaded disease with no proper policies and strategies in place.
The HIV positive children facing discrimination by schools authorities or society in India are common.
India has the world's third highest caseload with 2.5 million infections. It has an estimated 200,000 intravenous drug users, many of whom are in the remote northeast region, which borders the opium-producing Golden Triangle of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos.
Official figures show that more than 10 per cent of intravenous drug users in India are infected with HIV, a higher prevalence than among prostitutes.
The country's overall HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is about 0.9 per cent for those aged between 15-49.