Aim To determine the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of patients accessing antiretroviral treatment, in the public sector in Zambia. Methods A descriptive cross-sectional survey, using a pre-structured interview questionnaire, with patients on antiretroviral treatment. A total of 200 patients receiving antiretroviral treatment at the 2 national referral hospitals and seven provincial hospitals providing ART were included in the study Data was analyzed using STATA version 8. Analysis was by frequency tables and summary statistics. Results The majority of the patients on antiretroviral treatment were females at 61.5 percent. Most of the patients were in the age group 40 - 44 years old. Most of the patients were married followed by those who were widowed, who were predominantly female. The net monthly income was generally low for most patients and the forty thousand Kwacha monthly contributions for ARVs was high for most patients. Higher levels of education were associated with increased access to antiretroviral treatment. Conclusion and Recommendations There were more females than males accessing antiretroviral treatment in the public sector in Zambia. The majority of patients have a low income and the forty thousand Kwacha monthly contributions towards ARVs was high for most patients. It is recommended that antiretroviral treatment be provided for free or at a highly subsidized cost and also that the Ministry of Health increases the ART centers if the goal to put 100,000 on treatment by the end of 2005 is to be achieved.