Nigeria has the third largest number of patients worldwide living with HIV/AIDs, and the Nigerian government has set ambitious targets to slow, halt and potentially reverse this number over the coming years. Clinical service provision has increased to meet this challenge, and yet it is unknown how services may affect patient anti-retroviral therapy (ART) adherence. The aim of this study was to learn from patients what factors influence their adherence, and how services could be changed to facilitate adherence. In-depth interviews were conducted with 35 HIV patients attending Maitama District Hospital in Abuja and supplemented with shadowing observations of additional 10 patients during their clinic day appointment. Faith, stigma and discrimination and the hospital care patients received all influenced their thinking in relation to ART. Faith was expressed not only through their religious beliefs but also in the effectiveness of ART. They feared disclosure, even to close family, due to the stigma associated with HIV, and the threat of discrimination. They felt that the hospital service was under-resourced to cope with the volume of patients which led to delays on clinic day, including limited ART availability. This necessitated repeated hospital visits, thus increasing the chance of their status being revealed to third parties. Shadowing confirmed lengthy procedural delays in the hospital systems.