There are currently an estimated 3 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, making it the second most infected country worldwide. In light of these stark figures and the general failure by African countries to curb the HIV/AIDS pandemic, how can Nigeria expect to achieve a breakthrough in dealing with its HIV/AIDS epidemic? What policy actions should the global public health community, international donors and the Nigerian government take to help end this health crisis?
The Research Alliance to Combat HIV/AIDS (REACH), a joint collaboration between Northwestern University and the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, has sought to answer these questions. Since 2006, REACH has engaged social scientists in community-based research to explore the attitudes and behaviors related to HIV/AIDS prevention in four Nigerian states and advance strategies to reduce infection rates. On May 27, Global Economy and Development at Brookings and the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies at Northwestern University hosted a discussion on REACH’s most recent findings and policy recommendations. The first panel focused on the current state of the epidemic in Nigeria. The second panel examined a preventative approach to HIV/AIDS in Nigeria and other African countries.