Mass awareness campaigns on World AIDS Day

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Mumbai, /Kolkata, /Chennai, Dec 1 (ANI): Mass awareness campaigns were held all over India on the eve of World AIDS Day.

Bollywood actor and filmmaker Farhan Akhtar and filmmaker Karan Johar launched an AIDS awareness campaign outside Chatrapathi Shivaji Railway Terminus in Mumbai.

"Cinema is the medium of communication, so it's something that we have used in the past, we are using it right now and we will hopefully be using it even more effectively in the future to spread the awareness, and to make people aware that AIDS is not the problem that's may be just in their house, there are many people suffering from it as well, so don't think that you are alone, there are places you can go to, there are people you can talk to, to figure out what are the best possible means of prevention are," said Akhtar.

A huge installation named HIV, made with 20,000 balloons and 12,000 condoms attracted people in Mumbai.

The main objective of the campaign was to move the social stigma and discrimination against children infected by HIV/AIDS.

Similar campaigns were launched in Siliguri and Kolkata.

The rally, organized by a non-governmental organisation 'Voluntary Health Organization' aimed to educate common man about AIDS and the ways to prevent it.

Members of the Thalassaemia and AIDS Prevention Society organized a procession in Kolkata to create awareness regarding AIDS.

The Thalassaemia and AIDS Prevention Society members lit a candle, which will burn for the next 24 hours to mark World AIDS Day.

Indian community welfare organisation and Madras School of Social Work organised a bike rally for ride for rights in Chennai.

"Still after so many years of campaign, AIDS positive people are discriminated and stigmatised in our society. Most of them are vulnerable because of the social discrimination that happens. So this bike ride, which is a ride for rights, will spread the awareness among the citizens and community members that they should respect the human rights because every human right," said Amar Jyothi Nayak, one of the organiser of the bike rally.

India was thought to have the world's biggest HIV-positive caseload with 5.7 million infections, but a new UN-backed estimate released last year almost halved that number after conducting a new survey based on population rather than specific groups.

World AIDS Day on 1 December is the day when individuals and organisations from around the world come together to raise awareness about AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. (ANI)

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