India's Red Ribbon Express train making a difference in the AIDS response
16 January 2013
The Red Ribbon Express train has travelled more than 27 000 kilometres across India bringing a special message of AIDS awareness to more than 50 000 towns and villages.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé visited the Red Ribbon Express Train on display at the Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi during a recent country visit.
“The Red Ribbon Express has carried messages about HIV to all corners of the country,” said Michel Sidibé. “This train has been a profound success—ensuring young people get support and learn about AIDS and how to protect themselves from HIV.”
Completing its travel across the country, the Red Ribbon Express visited 23 states, stopping at 162 stations, reaching more than 10 million people with messages about HIV prevention and health in rural areas of India. The focus of the train’s most recent one-year journey across India was youth, with special emphasis on mobilizing adolescents and youth.
“The Red Ribbon Express is a global best practice for innovation and outreach,” said Lov Verma, Secretary of Health and Director General of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) of India, who hosted Mr Sidibé during his visit. “We are proud that this train has also been the bridge linking HIV and general health in rural and remote areas of the country.”
On World AIDS Day 2007, the Red Ribbon Express was launched by the honourable Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance. The idea of the Red Ribbon Express was originally developed by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and the National AIDS Control Organization of India.