Indian Police Force Launches HIV/AIDS Awareness Program Aimed at Officers, Soldiers
India's Central Reserve Police Force on Saturday launched an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign aimed at officers and soldiers in an effort to reduce the spread of the disease, ANI/Thaindian News reports. Under the program, CRPF will provide personnel with education about the disease and information about prevention methods. The police force also will establish condom vending machines. "Since people are often awkward and shy while buying condoms, we have taken care to maintain privacy while placing the machines," M.V. Rao, chief medical officer for CRPF, said. In addition, CRPF plans to establish a voluntary confidential counseling testing center, ANI/News reports.
According to ANI/News, India's Ministry of Home Affairs in 2007 informed the country's Parliament that 1,363 officers and soldiers were living with HIV/AIDS. Of these, 521 were from CRPF, ANI/News reports. In addition to the reported cases of HIV/AIDS among CRPF personnel, 458 cases have been recorded among the Assam Rifles, 239 among the Border Security Force, 105 in the Central Industrial Security Force, 25 in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, nine in the Sashastra Seema Bal and six among the National Security Guard, ANI/News reports (ANI/Thaindian News, 4/19).