New Delhi: French First Lady Carla Bruni on Monday interacted with counsellors and HIV positive patients at the Safdarjung Hospital and a home for HIV positive children here while her husband Nicolas Sarkozy held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Dressed in a formal navy blue suit and a blue scarf, the glamorous Bruni reached the hospital at 11.10 am and visited the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) centre and the out-patient department (OPD) of the hospital in south Delhi.
Interestingly, she refused to take the elevators and instead climbed the stairs to the hospital`s fifth floor.
During her one hour and 15 minute stay in the hospital, Bruni asked the counsellors to work towards integrating HIV positive people with the mainstream of society.
"Bruni said she is totally aware about shock and trauma of the persons diagnosed with HIV. She said it is important for counsellors to heal that shock and depression and integrate the patients in the society," a doctor at the ART centre told a news agency.
According to the doctor, Bruni interacted with some patients in the ART centre and asked about their families.
"She was very excited about getting pictures clicked with counsellor and ART staff members," he said.
The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), which forms policy and implements programmes for the prevention and control of HIV-AIDS in India, has been coordinating with the French embassy for the visit.
Bruni, who is the goodwill ambassador of the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, also visited the Naz Foundation-run home for HIV-positive children at East of Kailash in south Delhi.
"There are nearly 30 children in the home here. They are quite excited and have also made some special greeting cards for Bruni," Naz Foundation chief Anjali Gopalan told the agency.
On a four-day official visit to India, Sarkozy and Carla Bruni arrived at the Bangalore Saturday. They visited the Taj Mahal in Agra the same day and Fatehpur Sikri on Sunday.
Sarkozy`s visit is aimed at expanding cooperation in defence, nuclear power, sustainable development and culture.