In Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, the characterization of HIV-1 strains has been limited. In this study we evaluated the genetic diversity of the protease coding region, one of the anti-retroviral therapy target, and investigated the presence of mutations related to resistance to HIV protease inhibitors. We analyzed samples collected during 1996 and all patients were anti-retroviral drug naïves. Ten samples were evaluated by sequencing of the protease gene. The majority, 80%, were classified as subtype A and the two others were unclassified-divergent strains, something in between A and G subtypes. The gag region from these outliners were sequenced and the phylogenetic analysis classified them as subtype G. The protease amino acid consensus sequence of the Nigerian subtype A are in complete agreement with the consensus A differing from the USA subtype B consensus in 10 positions (L10V, I13V, K14R, I15V, K20I, M36I, R41K, P63L, H69K and L89M). The secondary substitutions associated with protease inhibitor resistance were observed in all Nigerian sequences at the positions L10V, M36I and L89M. The majority of sequence variation was concentrated in the interval between aminoacids 70-90 where the protease substrate binding region is located.