APCOM’s AIDS2020 Pre-Conference Speaker
J.V.R. Prasada Rao
Former Health Secretary, Government of India, J.V.R. Prasada Rao worked extensively in health sector during and after his retirement from Government in 2004. He served as the Director of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from 1997 to 2002 to head the national response to a raging AIDS epidemic in the country. For the next five years Prasada Rao led the organization in an unprecedented response to AIDS with multi-stakeholder involvement. From 2002 to 2004 he served as the Secretary in the Health &Family Welfare Ministry and was instrumental in bringing out a National Health Policy and a National AIDS Control Policy in 2002.
Prasada Rao moved to Bangkok as Regional Director for Asia Pacific region of UNAIDS, the joint UN programme for control of AIDS from 2004 to 2009. During those five years he led the UN response to AIDS in Asia Pacific countries using his experience from India’s national programme, the largest in the region. He served as Member Secretary of two independent commissions on AIDS to critically look at the dynamics of the epidemic and its socioeconomic implications to the region. He promoted regional civil society organisations of key populations who are vulnerable to the HIV epidemic
After his return to India, Prasada Rao was appointed as the Special Envoy on AIDS for Asia Pacific region by the Secretary General United Nations, Ban Ki Moon. He interacted closely with political leaders including Presidents and Prime Ministers of countries in the region for prioritizing AIDS control in the national plans and strategies. He facilitated discussions on inclusion of AIDS elimination as a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for 2030 which was finally adopted in the UNGA declaration on SDGs in 2015.He also functioned as the Commissioner Secretary of a Global Commission on HIV and Law initiated by UNDP.
Prasada Rao is currently involved in Covid19 response in India as a member of National Taskforce of ICMR and Global Advisory Board of the state government of Bengal.