AIDS Prevention and Control Project (APAC)
Country of Operation
- Voluntary Health Services (VHS)Not-for-profit
SummaryAPAC has been implementing STI/HIV/AIDS prevention and control programs in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. APAC is administered by the Voluntary Health Services (VHS), Chennai with financial assistance from USAID, under a tripartite agreement with the Government of India.
To provide sustainable models for public health, implement activities to curb communicable diseases, and thus offer a helping hand to the hurting humanity through its pool of public and private sector partners.
Key program components
APAC currently partners with 48 NGOs to implement intervention programs with vulnerable populations identified as priority groups; these are truckers, women in prostitution, industrial workers, youth in slums and male sex workers, among others. APAC’s activities have included:
Establishing Demonstration Centres with a view to transfer the knowledge and skills about targeted interventions to both Government and NGOs implementing HIV prevention programs in the country.
Developing a comprehensive model of STI care for high-risk groups that combines the use of innovative behaviour change strategies to raise the demand for quality STI services and the training of Health Care Providers (HCPs) to meet this demand.
Collaborating with the private sector to increase the sale of condoms and training over 6000 retailer outlets in condom marketing.
Undertaking research activities to gain an understanding of the behaviour of high-risk populations, as well as to assess the effectiveness of its programs. Mapping different target groups, assessing their high-risk behaviour, estimating the prevalence of STIs in the community, assessing the quality and distribution of products and services, and carrying out community needs assessments, are some of the areas where research has been undertaken.
Furthermore, the AIDS Prevention and Control (APAC) project has partnered with Tata Business Support Services (TBSS) and Tata Teleservices Ltd. (TTSL) to introduce a toll-free helpline, Hello+, to provide health education and counselling on HIV/AIDS. Hello+ is an innovative initiative to increase access to health education and counselling while ensuring the confidentiality of the caller. This pilot initiative is being first rolled-out in Tamil Nadu and will be expanded to other parts of the country in a phased manner. During the extension phase, APAC will work with additional target groups. The new groups will include men having sex with men (MSMs), intravenous drug users (IVDUs), and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).
APAC has already completed two phases (1995 – 2007) and is currently in its third phase (2007 – 2012), implementing prevention and treatment programs in seven Intensive Intervention Districts in Tamil Nadu.