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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 89-90  

Celebrating small victories – My journey through two decades of AIDS response

1 Indian Institute of Public Health, Delhi, India
2 Indian Institute of Public Health, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Date of Submission20-Feb-2021
Date of Decision20-Feb-2021
Date of Acceptance22-Feb-2021
Date of Web Publication20-Mar-2021

Correspondence Address:
Sanjay Zodpey
Plot Number 47, Sector 44, Institutional Area, Gurgaon - 122002, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_162_21

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How to cite this article:
Zodpey S, Salunke S. Celebrating small victories – My journey through two decades of AIDS response. Indian J Public Health 2021;65:89-90

How to cite this URL:
Zodpey S, Salunke S. Celebrating small victories – My journey through two decades of AIDS response. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Sep 20];65:89-90. Available from:

Author: J.V.R. Prasada Rao

Edition: 1st

Year: 2020

ISBN 13: 978-1637145531

Editors: Not Applicable


Pages: 278

Shri. J.V.R. Prasada Rao, a Former Union Health Secretary, Government of India, and a Former Special Envoy of United Nations Secretary-General on AIDS, has presented his perspective on the HIV-AIDS success story in India.[1] As someone who has spent a substantial part of his career in leading the HIV-AIDS response in the country and the region, he narrates his real-life experiences of handling the program. He charts the incremental growth of the national response, the lessons learned, and the challenges that confront expansion at-scale. He narrates interesting anecdotes and interactions with a variety of people across the country to present the readers with an understanding of the complexities in handling a nationwide response.

Framing a scientifically sound strategy that is consistent with field-level realities and backed by definitive policy initiatives is essential in public health response. This book devotes considerable attention to all the three facets of the national response. The initial task in any epidemic is to get the correct numbers. The book clearly describes the challenges on this front and setting up of the sentinel surveillance system in the initial years of the epidemic. The National AIDS Control Policy Phase 2 (NACP 2) was a comprehensive response to the epidemic, and it addressed the multiple determinants of the disease in the country. It was accompanied by high levels of commitment, at the technical, at the bureaucratic, and at the political level that led to a comprehensive response. While a section of the readers might be aware of the evolution of the response in India, the chapter on stimulating the response in the Asia Pacific as its Regional Director and the movement toward the Universal Access of HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support by 2010 for all who need it makes for very insightful reading.

It contains five chapters that are chronologically arranged. Chapter 1 talks about the early years of the epidemic in India and the first phase of the response within the country. It highlights how the disease was recognized as a public health priority and started engaging nation attention. The second chapter talks about the NACP 2 and the NACP. It is a long chapter that highlights the development of the various facets of the program and details the activity scale-up. Chapters 3 and 4 take a plunge into the activities that stimulated the regional and the global response, respectively. Chapter 5 details his engagements with the civil society.

Each chapter is accompanied by formal references to aid additional reading. This book is a must-read for all public health professionals. For students of public health, this read will help them to reflect on account of the roles played by the author as policymaker, programmer, advocate, and activist for HIV/AIDS in a career spanning over two decades.

The book is available as a hard-bound copy with clear printing. The book is also available on,, and and at Notion Press store

The book is also available on kindle as an e-book.

   References Top

Rao JV. Celebrating Small Victories-My Journey through Two Decades of AIDS Response. 1st ed. Chennai:; 2020.  Back to cited text no. 1


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