No one knows what will happen after these five years': narratives of ART, access and agency in Nigeria

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Rural Nigerians pursue a range of strategies to maximize current and future access to HIV treatment in the context of securing livelihoods and minimizing the social and economic risks of stigma. This study reports on qualitative interviews with service providers and anti-retroviral therapy (ART) patients accessing care in Benue State, Nigeria, or travelling several hours to Abuja for treatment (n = 34). Nigerians living with HIV are keenly aware of the fragility and complex global and local politics of funding. Their narratives of pervasive stigma, economic and health system barriers to access, growing fears that free ART will cease, and strategies to secure access to care reveal a sophisticated synthesis of social determinants of health and clinical care, and challenge practitioners, planners, and scholars to take a similarly robust and nuanced approach to vulnerability, access, and agency.