Red Ribbon Express to chug into city today

The train will be parked in the salon siding of the Chandigarh Railway Station, and passengers will not be inconvenienced, says the station superintendent

To create awareness about AIDS, the Red Ribbon Express (RRE) will chug in the city for three days at the Chandigarh Railway Station.

The train will arrive at platform number 1 of the station on Wednesday, and will be open for public viewing till December 14 from 9 am to 6 pm.

Concerns are also being raised about the inconvenience that will be caused to the passengers if the train is stationed at platform number 1, which is the busiest of all the platforms.

However, Station Superintendent Parveen Kumar said the train would be parked in the salon siding and passengers would not be inconvenienced. No trains would be diverted to other platforms, he added.

AIDS awareness has increased in Chandigarh. Data shows that the number of clients voluntarily walking in to Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres has increased both from the general population and high risk groups. The new case detection rate among the clients has declined from 7.1% in 2008 to 2.19% in 2012. As many as 17,405 cases were tested in 2008, and 1,239 were found positive. Till October 2012, 34,581 cases were tested, and 758 were found positive. Prevalence of HIV in pregnant women also shows a decline from 0.25% to 0.23%.

While addressing mediapersons, Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin and State AIDS Control Society project director Dr Vanita Gupta said that the RRE had four coaches with exhibits on National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), HIV and AIDS.

NRHM exhibits are on tuberculosis, malaria, reproductive and child health services, general health and hygiene. The main objectives of the RRE are to disseminate information regarding prevention and services, develop an understanding about the infection to reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, strengthen people's knowledge about the measures to be taken to prevent HIV/AIDS and adopt preventive habits and lifestyle.

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