The HIV pandemic is perhaps the greatest health and human rights issue of our time. Worldwide, an estimated 40 million people are currently infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. With an estimated 3.6 million people with HIV/AIDS, Nigeria is home to 1 out of every 11 people with HIV/AIDS worldwide. The HIV prevalence among adults in Nigeria has increased from 1.8 percent in 1991 to an estimated 5.4 percent in 2003. Unofficial estimates range as high as 10 percent, which represents four to six million people infected.
In 2006, a PHR report brought to light the discrimination faced by people living with HIV/AIDS when seeking healthcare in Nigeria. The research, conducted with the Policy Project Nigeria and the Center for the Right to Health, found widespread misconceptions about treating people with HIV/AIDS, including instances of medical professionals refusing to provide care, or testing patients without informed consent.
Additionally, in 2002, PHR supervised a forensic team in the exhumation of eight bodies believed to be the Ogoni Nine. The Ogoni Nine, members of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, were executed by a secret tribunal in 1995 and were buried in an unmarked grave in Port Harcourt. The dictatorship had ordered their graves not be marked and the families not be told where it was; gravediggers rolled over the whole area with construction equipment so there would be no clues as to where the bodies were buried.