Q and A


How can I improve my CD4 count when I am already on treatment?

How to improve my CD4 count of 210? Is it dangerous at this stage? I was stressed and it has never been so low. I take daily Truvada (tenofovir and FTC) and Viramune (nevirapine). How can I improve it? Will more sleep help? I eat healty foods.

Thank you.


Thank you for your question.

I am sorry to hear that you are stressed at the moment and that it is affecting your CD4 count. A CD4 count of 210 isn’t bad at all and is nothing to worry about.

How long have you been on medication? If you have recently started then it is possible that as you continue taking your meds your CD4 count will increase. Trying to reduce your stress levels or learning to manage your stress better could also help.

Other things that can help to increase CD4 counts include the same things that are advised for general health. Try to eat a balanced diet, sleep well, exercise, stop smoking, and only use alcohol or recreational drugs in moderation.

It is also possible that your CD4 count is just fluctuating and that it will naturally go back up on its own. Either way it is nothing to worry about. Once you have started treatment the most important thing to monitor is your viral load. As long as that remains undetectable your treatment is working.

Information on this website is provided by treatment advocates and offered as a guide only. Decisions about your treatment should always be taken in consultation with your doctor.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Fire,

    How are you doing with the meds? Have you had any side effects?

    Weight loss due to ARVs isn’t common. Therefore, there’s no real reason why you being positive and on meds should affect this. If you’re worried about this, just keep an eye on your weight. Following a good diet will help. However, if you reduce what you eat and exercise too much you will lose weight.

    There is a possibility that people who are living with HIV, (PLWHIV) are more prone to certain illnesses than those who are negative. And this is even when they are on medication. This is why its important for PLWHIV to look after themselves, and to have regular check ups. There’s more about this here:


    Its important to understand that you may not get any of the illnesses that are discussed in the above guide. And that it’s perfectly possible to live very well with HIV. Its also very possible to have a similar life expectancy to what it would have been had you not contracted HIV. This is because you’re on meds.

    Other than the ARVs, were you given any other medication?

  2. Fire

    I’ve been on meds for a month now. My weight is fine and I’m eating fine. I exercise and my CD4 was 245 when I started meds.

    My question is, as long as I’m taking my meds will my weight be maintained? Will I have any complications?

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Edima,

    Losing weight can be due to many things. Therefore you should speak to a doctor about this.

  4. Edima

    I’m on HIV meds. My CD4 is 370 but am getting thinner day by day please what could be the cause?

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Nhonho,

    You are doing the best thing by being on meds. It is the meds that will help reduce the risk of transmission to your baby. As to whether they will be negative or not, no one can say. But you’re doing the right thing.

    For more info about HIV and pregnancy, please see here:


  6. Nhonho

    I tested last year September then I started ART in Dec, my CD4 was 271. I’m pregnant, due in May, will my baby be OK?

  7. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Robert,

    What was your CD4 when you started meds?

  8. Robert

    I have been on treatment for one month, how long will it take for my CD4 to get back to normal?

  9. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Ngcebo,

    For me to be able to answer this, I’m going to need to know if this is your first CD4 count. If you’re on treatment, and how long have you been positive for. If you could let me know, I’ll be able to tell you of this is a bad or good CD4.

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