Speaking to mediapersons, Sailen Ghosh, General Secretary of the Thalassaemia and AIDs Prevention Society, said the prime objective behind organising the rally, was to protect expecting mothers and their children from the HIV virus.
"There is AIDS day on December 1, so we held opening programme with this rally. The theme for our 2011 programme is 'women's awareness' because our aim is to save the baby in embryonic stage so that infected mother may not give birth else it will be dangerous. That's why we have included maximum women and girls in this rally and also appealed them that whenever they conceive, they must get HIV tested," said Ghosh.
The UNAIDS report reveals that about 15 percent of pregnant women living with HIV across India seek treatment too late in their pregnancies-immediately before or during labour-and that they give birth to about 50 percent of all HIV-positive children in the country.
The report further reveals that there are an estimated 2.4 million people living with HIV in India, one of the countries with the highest numbers of people living with HIV globally.
India's fight against HIV/AIDS over the past decade has been a great success surpassing by far other countries' efforts.
There is no cure for HIV but the progress of the infection can be controlled for years by various drugs.