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. Roy Trevelion

    Hi, What other meds are you taking for HIV? Usually tenofovir is taken with two other drugs, often in a single tablet.

    But omeprazole can interact with some HIV meds. It’s important that you talk to your doctor about any possible interaction between your HIV meds and your stomach meds.

  2. Uze

    My CD4 accounts 475 I’m not sick at the moment but I was given tenofovir 300mg will this improve my immune system. And can I stl use my stomache medics (omoplazole) which I normally use when I have stomache ulcers problems?

  3. Hi Isabel. It is okay to start treatment again in SA if you have this option. Try to find a public health clinic where the meds are free. Please tell the docotr about your previous treatment. When you restart you can still benefit form the meds.

  4. Isabel

    Hi l have a question – l was taking medication from Zimbabwe and l defaulted for some months – then l went to the clinic hère in SA. So is there any problem or l am doing thé wrong thing coz l did not just default it was a money problems.

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Taking your meds regularly is the only way to increase your CD4 count. Once you’re taking treatment it’s usual for CD4 counts to increase slowly.

  6. Poppy

    I am taking my treatment regularly but my CD4 count doesn’t go up. What’s wrong, what should I do to increase it?

  7. Roy Trevelion

    It’s normal for CD4 counts to go up and down. Taking your meds regularly, as you do, is the only way to increase your CD4 count. You can ask your clinic for another viral load test just to be sure.

  8. chirag

    Recently my CD4 count has dropped. My last was 645, and my latest is 446. Why is this happening? I take my meds regularly. Should I check my viral load? What can I do to increase my CD4 count? Please help.

  9. Hi Nick,

    I am not sure why doctors would say this. HIV treatment is really effective. I know several people who started treatment at CD4 counts much lower than yours, under 10. Treatment has helped them and their CD4 count rise significantly. Where are you being treated?

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