HYDERABAD: In order to create awareness among people on HIV/AIDS, the Red Ribbon Express- II, the anti-AIDS campaign on wheels, exhibited several documentaries, photo features and stories of virus-infected families at the Secunderabad railway station on Thursday.Health, Medical and Family Welfare Principal Secretary J Satyanarayana inaugurated the exhibition.“The Red Ribbon Express is getting a tremendous response in the State and thousands of people are getting themselves educated on HIV/ AIDS. The train has been designed with unique information, education and communication (IEC) material and high-end audio-visual systems,” Satyanarayana said.India has 20 lakh people living with HIV/AIDS and AP accounts for nearly five lakh. Many programmes and services have been initiated, especially the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART), to help them lead a quality and prolonged life. “Our concern is to make the general public take precautions to avoid contracting the virus, with focus on protecting those in the 25-45 age group from HIV/AIDS,” he declared.He urged the visitors to pass on what they had learnt on the train to at least 10 persons each.
.Hyderabad District Collector Natarajan Gulzar said behavioural and attitudinal changes among the public were necessary for the HIV/AIDS campaigns to become effective.AP State AIDS Control Society (APSCS) Project Director RV Chandravadan said they aimed to reach out to five lakh people in the State through the RRE, especially to dispel the myths and misconceptions surrounding the HIV/AIDS.The additional feature in RRE-II was the facility to conduct HIV tests and counselling for visitors.The Red Ribbon Express started its journey in the State from Chittoor on April 5 and touched Anantapur and Kurnool districts before reaching Secunderabad. It will be stationed here for two days.The train had about 45,000 visitors till date with half of them being women. About 1,700 had undergone the HIV test. Over 6,000 viewed it on the first day in Secunderabad.
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