Red Ribbon Express is an AIDS/HIV awareness campaign train by the Indian Railways. The motto of the Red Ribbon Express is “Embarking on the journey of life".
The Red Ribbon Express was launched in India on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2007. The seven coach train was flagged off by United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The Red Ribbon Express became the first time information and awareness about HIV/AIDS was disseminated through a train service, Indian Railways. Initial talk of the HIV/AIDS awareness train began over two years before its launch. The idea of the Red Ribbon Express was developed by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the National AIDS Control Organisation and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan in 2004.
The Red Ribbon Express’ second phase was flagged off by Sonia Gandhi on World AIDS Day, 2009.The Red Ribbon Express seeks to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS, promote safe sex and reduce discrimination against AIDS victims in India, especially those in rural regions. India has the third largest population of HIV/AIDS victims worldwide (with over 2.4 million people affected in 2007), after South Africa (5.7 million) and Nigeria (2.6 million).