Programs for Prevention, Care, and Treatment of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria

Photo by Farouk Jega

Pathfinder is increasing PMTCT and HIV counseling and testing outreach.


Twenty-one percent of the world’s new HIV infections occur among children in Nigeria.  An estimated 360,000 Nigerian children, aged 0-14 years, are infected as a result of mother-to-child transmission. These devastating statistics highlight an urgent need. According to UNICEF, only 13 percent of pregnant women were tested for HIV in Nigeria in 2009. Although coverage of anti-retrovirals to HIV-positive pregnant women to prevent transmission to their babies has increased (to 21.6 percent in 2010), it is still far below the national target of  more than 90 percent by 2015.

Pregnant women face significant barriers to accessing the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services they need to protect themselves and their children. Pathfinder is changing that with projects like this one.

Project Profile

Pathfinder is strengthening and scaling up PMTCT and HIV testing and counseling at primary health centers and selected general hospitals in the predominantly rural and underserved communities in Edo and Kano states of Nigeria. Project work is supported by funding from the Centers for Disease Control.

Since 2009, more than 92,000 individuals, including at least 38,000 pregnant women, have been reached with HIV testing and counseling services. In addition, an increasing number of private clinics collaborate with the project by either referring pregnant women for HIV counseling and testing or inviting health care providers to provide counseling and testing on site. Pathfinder is currently implementing sustainability plans at the community and local government levels to ensure communities can carry on activities after the funding period has ended.

"Our program is targeted to people who live, work, and have their babies at the community level. They have not had access to health care as we know it. They have not been able to protect themselves or their babies. Until now.” —Farouk M Jega, Country Representative, Nigeria


Pathfinder integrates PMTCT services within focused antenatal care and labor and delivery services. At the same time, Pathfinder and our partners strengthen the skills of birth attendants—both skilled and traditional birth attendants—to provide client-responsive counseling about voluntary family planning. To ensure women and children receive quality PMTCT services, Pathfinder has established PMTCT quality standards that include:

  • Voluntary HIV testing and HIV risk-reduction counseling for all pregnant women
  • Male involvement to encourage partner testing and support for adherence to prophylaxis, care, and treatment for women and children
  • Ongoing continuum of care for the mother-baby pair
  • Exclusive and extended breastfeeding promotion according to WHO guidelines


Your support is critical to ensuring our work can continue. Your gift of $25 or $50 helps women and families access contraception, maternal and newborn care services, and a range of other reproductive health services.

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