Mainstreaming of HIV & AIDS and ensuring safe blood are major activities to control the spread of HIV & AIDS in the country. Of the over 1 billion youth (ages 15-24) worldwide, some 10 million youth are living with HIV: .Every day, an estimated 6,000 youth are infected with the virus. Out of 2.47 million estimated population infected by HIV in India, 88.7% are in the age group of 15-49 years. In view of this, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India has proposed to establish a network with Universities and educational institutions to generate awareness regarding HIV & AIDS and to promote Voluntary Blood Donation to ensure safe blood and implement preventive programmes on HIV & AIDS.
Under the NACP III youth have been identified as a vulnerable group requiring special attention. Recognizing the heterogeneity of the youth NACP III aims to promote Red Ribbon Clubs to cover youth at risk to HIV both in campuses as well as in community.
Through RRC youth are encouraged to learn about safe and healthy lifestyles. The RRC promotes access to information on safe sexual behaviors and voluntary blood donation as well as enable them to become change agents in HIV & AIDS programme.
To create and provide opportunity to the zeal of volunteerism among youth to contribute towards the control and prevention of HIV&AIDS Red Ribbon Club in the educational institutions will be formed. The concept and design of the programme is based on the lessons and experiences of the Red Ribbon Clubs formed in the educational institutions in the States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh.
The Red Ribbon Club is a voluntary on-campus intervention program for students in educational institutions. It is initiated and supported by the State AIDS Control Society and implemented through multi-sectoral collaboration, particularly, using the services of cadre officers of the State’s National Service Scheme (NSS).
The programme will address the knowledge, attitude and behavior of the youths in the interrelated areas of Voluntary Blood Donation, HIV & AIDS and sexuality, as demanded by their age, environment, and life style. The, Red Ribbon Club will serve as a complementary and comprehensive prevention intervention to support and reinforce similar youth led initiatives.
Thus Red Ribbon Club Programme (RRCP) is a comprehensive promotional and preventive intervention to enhance voluntary blood donation as well as mainstream HIV & AIDS prevention, care & support and treatment impact, mitigation, stigma reduction, among the youth in educational institutions. It will also prepare and promote youth peer educators within and outside the campuses.