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Red Ribbon Express to spread awareness on AIDS flagged off from Delhi

New Delhi, Thu, 12 Jan 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Jan 12 (ANI): The Red Ribbon Express, a special train that travels across the country to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS, was flagged off from here on Thursday.


Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit flagged off the specially designed train that will halt at 162 stations during its yearlong journey across 23 states.


Azad said that with world-class facilities onboard along with a team of skilled doctors would work to create adequate awareness about the HIV virus.


"The doctors in the train provide treatment and counselling and also provide a lot of material to them so that they can take advantage of it. We are delighted to know that in the last decade any new infections of HIV AIDS have reduced by 50 percent. This is a major achievement," said Azad.


Listing her government's steps in tackling HIV/AIDS, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that due to their rigorous campaigning in institutions most prone to the HIV virus, there has been a considerable fall in the number of people patients infected by the deadly virus.


"The level of HIV/AIDS infection has reduced considerably in New Delhi from the time we started the campaign six-seven years back. We campaigned in hospitals and institutions that employ a lot of people, for example, drivers, DTC (Delhi Transport Cooperation), BSES and others," said Dikshit.


"We conducted various camps in all these places to generate awareness. The rigorous campaigning and availability of hospitals that offer treatment and counselling resulted in drop of HIV patients by 50 percent in the past two to three years," she added.


Another area of concern expressed by both Azad and Dikshit was to monitor the migration level of HIV patients to other parts of the country.


The train was first launched on the World AIDS Day in 2007. (ANI)


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