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AIDS Prevention and Control: 1995 – 2012

In Partnership with National AIDS Control Organization and Tamil Nadu, Kerala & Puducherry State AIDS Control Societies

Funding Support from the United States Agency for International Development


  • APAC project was administered by VHS with financial assistance from the United States Agency for International Development under a tripartite agreement between Government of India, USAID and VHS
  • Initiated in 1995 with the goal of establishing sustainable network models for prevention, care, support and treatment that would enhance the state’s response to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
  • Executed flagship project of USAID in three phases partnering with National AIDS Control Organization, State AIDS Control Societies of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala, Chennai Corporation AIDS Prevention And Control Society, Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project, Civil Society Organizations and key stakeholders
  • Recognized nationally for introducing the concept of Targeted Intervention among Most At Risk Population (MARP), systematizing implementation of targeted intervention program and facilitating scale up


  • Technical strategies deployed by APAC project comprised of targeted intervention, behavior change communication, capacity building, public-private partnership, evidence based programming, monitoring and evaluation
  • Pioneered and implemented a number of high impact and innovative HIV/AIDS interventions covering the entire prevention to care continuum
  • Supported NACO with strategic planning, established and managed Technical Support Units in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala for TI strengthening, conceptualized and implemented innovative communication strategies for sustainable behavior change and provided technical assistance to 35 training and research institutions
  • APAC project’s role evolved from leading design and implementation of HIV/AIDS program for the most at risk and hard to reach populations to supporting and providing technical assistance to NACO, SACS, TNHSP and other key stakeholders
  • Adopted a multi-pronged and structured approach to capacity building of CSO governing board members, staff and community, followed by intensive on-site hand holding and mentoring support

Key Achievements

  • Played a strategic role in policy formulation at national level by serving as chair for the Technical Resource Group (TRG) on TI and as member of working groups for planning National AIDS Control Program phase II, III and IV
  • Collaborated with Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project (TNHSP, supported by The World Bank) for health system strengthening, set up State Health Data Resource Centre, State Health Communication Resource Centre, State Health Research Resource Centre
  • One of the first civil society projects in the country to be awarded ISO certification (ISO 9001:2008) for quality management processes and practices
  • Conducted, documented and evaluated 13 rounds of Behavioural Surveillance Survey (BSS) annually and disseminated findings for program strengthening
  • Organized comprehensive capacity building programs for more than 100 NGOs and CBOs implementing TI program, followed by hand holding and mentoring support for strengthening and sustaining the response to HIV
  • Introduced Shakthi Plus program to reduce risks and improve negotiating power of HIV positive sex workers through comprehensive care and livelihood support.
  • Carried out assessment studies in 11 hospitals attached to medical colleges and 272 government hospitals. Conducted Training of Trainers (TOTs) for 500 healthcare providers on bio-medical waste management and infection control
  • Introduced edutainment approach for Targeted Intervention program to promote interactive communication, encourage behaviour change, reduce message fatigue and avoid monotony in communication.
  • Developed the concept for national HIV/AIDS communication resource centre.
  • Established State Health Data Resource Centre as a centralized repository for data from 18 public health verticals in the state.
  • Introduced a comprehensive Master Health Check-up program at government STI clinics for the Most At Risk Population.
  • Introduced a pan-India toll free helpline and a voice based short messaging service called ‘Hello+’ through Public Private Partnership for communicating with the Most At Risk Population and People Living with HIV.
  • Provided technical assistance for developing systems and rolling out folk media campaigns in the country and supported the national program with campaign evaluations.