ABSTRACT OF THESISANTIRETROVIRAL DRUG ACCESSIBILITY TO HIV/AIDS PATIENTS IN BAMAKO, MALI (West Africa)Background The republic of Mali is a landlocked country located in West Africa. The national HIV infection prevalence rate was 1.7% in 2001 and still below 2% in 2004. In Mali, ARV drugs are free of charge for HIV/AIDS patients. By the end of 2005 there were 6 000 HIV-infected patients receiving ART out of 22 000 in need (32% coverage). By 2006, it was 37% of coverage. Do these patients under ART have regular access to ARV?Objective The main objective of the study was to assess patients' perception of difficulties in access to ARV drugs for patients on ARTMethods: A quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted among HIV/AIDS patients and dispensers at the three ARV sites in Bamako, the capital city of Mali. Data were collected with questionnaire by using a face-to-face interview with 210 patients under ART at least one month and 16 dispensers.FindingsOur findings showed that ARV was perceived accessible in patients and dispensers opinions even though dependant variables. But some main difficulties have been cited related to the lack of money for transportation fee, long waiting time, stigma etc.138 patients (66%) were female. The mean age for patients was 35.17 ¡À 9.23 years. 183 patients (87%) were residing in Bamako. 169 patients (80%) had low or no income.During this study, we estimated the median distance to reach the ARV site to be 9km, the median cost of transportation 500 Francs CFA (¡Ö1 US dollar), the mean time to reach ARV site was 100.64 ¡À 225.80 minutes, the mean waiting time to get ARV at the treatment site (medical prescription plus ARV dispensing) was 3.80 ¡À 2.65 hours. 166 patients (79%) used public transportation to reach ARV sites. The advices given by dispensers and received by patients were not consistent. The findings showed existence of differences between the three ARV sites and also between genders in some variables.Conclusion: Generally, ARV was accessible to the majority of HIV/AIDS patients but some difficulties still existed. However another study would enable the possibility of finding out patients who still have no access to ARV.