HIV/AIDS is much broader than a public health issue; it is a developmental problem of monumental proportion. In Nigeria, providing effective prevention, care, treatment, support and impact mitigation has become a major challenge for both the government, the donor community and the private sector. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has brought untold hardship to communities. It has negatively affected agricultural productivity, put a strain on already dilapidated health infrastructure and worsened poverty indices.

PSJ’s on-the-ground work in rural Niger State is gradually changing the course of HIV/AIDS epidemic in communities. Beginning in 2004, PSJ successfully mobilized community stakeholders including village chiefs, community elders, religious leaders, women leaders, youth groups, cultural custodians and the local councils to assume leadership roles and responsibilities in efforts aimed at combating HIV/AIDS. In 2004, PSJ organized the first ever community stakeholders’ dialogue on HIV/AIDS in Kontagora Emirate, which was largely instrumental to breaking the silence and secrecy surrounding HIV/AIDS in among the populace.

In 2007, PSJ began implementing Postive Living Project to provide HIV Prevention, Counseling & Testing Services and Home based/Palliative care for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) in 51 rural communities spanned across five LGAs (Mashegu, Kagara, Auna, Borgu and Wushishi). Trained volunteers visit PLWHAs in their homes to offer care and support, and opportunistic infections treatments are provided free to all patients that require them. The Positive Living Project has not only been life-saving for individual PLWHAs and their families, but has also had transformational and rejuvenating effect on whole communities. With improved access to essential medicines including ARVS and drugs for treatment of opportunistic infections as well as increasing community-wide social support, PLWHAs in these rural communities now live longer active lives with improved quality of life. Community members have also regained hope and are now transmitting positive messages of hope in regards to HIV/AIDS.