VELLORE: The district administration has made huge arrangements to draw crowds from the district to visit the Red Ribbon Express, an awareness campaign train on HIV/AIDS that will reach Vellore Cantonment Railway Station on May 26.
The train was launched by the National AIDS Control Organisation and TN State AIDS Control Society.
The Red Ribbon Express has eight air-conditioned compartments of which, four have exhibits, including three on HIV/AIDS and one on general health. One compartment has a counselling and treatment centre with four counsellors and two doctors while another compartment will have a training centre for SHGs, volunteers of Nehru Yuva Kendra, police and other government officials visiting the train.
“We have spread information about the arrival of the train and expect around 50,000 visitors from across the district,” said Collector Ajay Yadav at a press conference on Wednesday. The objective of the awareness campaign was to prevent fresh HIV positive cases so as to achieve the World AIDS Day theme of ‘Getting to Zero’, he added .
He pointed out that Vellore was categorised as a place with high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. In the district, a total of 13,793 persons were HIV + of whom, 11,697 were registered under Anti Retroviral Therapy, while 3,785 were under treatment.
The district administration will rope in 700 NCC cadets to assist police in crowd management and the Corporation and Railways will provide basic amenities such as drinking water and toilet facilities, he added.
Programme Officer of District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit, Joevalan Niranjan said that 3,41,181 persons visited the train that entered the state on May 9 and covered six districts.The highest number of visitors recorded was at Karur with 41,278 on May 16.