Abstract

The study was designed to examine the knowledge and perception of HIV positive persons about the antiretroviral therapy (ART) program and to determine their ability to pay for ART and the treatment of other opportunistic infections in Nigeria. This is aimed at identifying factors that may impede effective delivery and utilization of ART in the country. One hundred and twenty-five HIV positive persons seeking ART at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) clinic, Lagos, were studied using questionnaires. Respondents' average monthly income was N11,253.00 (US$90.00). Almost 26% (25.6%) were unwilling to seek ART at the nearest hospital because of fear of stigmatization. While 9% wanted the therapy for free, the majority was willing to pay N500.00 (US$4.00) per month. The average affordable price based on the subjects' assessment was N905.00 (US$7.24), while the median was N500.00 (US$4.00) per month. Eighty-eight percent believed ART would prolong their lives. The ART drugs need to be affordable and building on the positive perceptions of ART is imperative.