Indian Nationwide Train Trip To Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness Among Youth
The Washington Post on Friday examined the Red RibbonExpress -- a nationwide train trip launched by the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that over the course of one year will reach60,000 rural villages nationwide to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among youth.The project, assisted by UNICEF, was launched on Saturday in
The Red Ribbon Express has seven coaches equipped with medical equipment;facilities for counseling, examination and treatment; rest rooms; a kitchen;and an auditorium. Doctors, paramedics and volunteers will be on board toprovide care to youth. According to Mayank Agarwal, joint director of the National AIDS Control Organization, the train is expected to stop at180 stations across the country. Stops will include the vulnerable states ofAndhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and
Some Indian officials say that the Red Ribbon Express "represents anadmission that the general population remains woefully ignorant about"HIV/AIDS, the Post reports.
According to the health ministry, about 80% of Indians ages 15 to 24 have heardof the disease, but only 57% correctly can identify prevention methods. NACOhas pledged about $3 billion over the next five years for HIV/AIDS programs -- including public education, blood safety,condom promotion and antiretroviral therapy -- the Post reports (WashingtonPost, 12/7).
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