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. Hi Thabo, the main reason to worry about drinking is that you night miss your meds.

    However, drinking too much is not good for your overall health and is now good for you liver, especially in the long term. If you already think you drink “too much” then you probably already know the answer – and that this is not good for you.

    Anything more than 1 or 2 drinks a day is defined as medically being too much. Or binge drinking where you might not drink all week and then have more than 3-4 drinks on one night.

    Other problems from drinking to much are that your relationships can suffer.

  2. thabo

    Hi there, i am also living with hiv and i am warred coz i dink to much. Should I be worried?

  3. Esther

    hi m hiv + and I’m on treatment now. I am worried my cd4 count is low. I tested it since frm January every 3 month bt it still the same at 211. my doctor said I should continue with this treatment since I was using it when I was pregnant in 2011. My cd4 count was good then but now is low. I am still using neverapine and combination of Azt and 3TC. I don’t know what to do cos I’m not using alcohol, smoking. Or can I use a booster or change the clinic plz help me I’m so stressed.

  4. petite

    Is CD4 OF 458 good for an Hiv positive person …

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Kate,

    Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. But it could be the clinic are giving you good advice while they test for TB. If you have a low CD4 count the clinic will sometimes treat TB first. Depending on your CD4 count TB drugs may be started first, and they may delay ART for up to 12 weeks.

    It’s important that you call the clinic if you don’t hear from them soon.

  6. Kate

    Hi, My name Kate, I just find out I’am HIV few weeks ago, They tested if I didn’t have TB. So I’m wating for a call from the clinic. My CD4 count is 220, they didn’t give me ART.

  7. Roy Trevelion

    Hi, The only thing that can increase your CD4 count is being on HIV treatment (ART) and having an undetectable viral load. But CD4 counts go up and down even if you’re HIV negative.

    You can find out more in the answer to a recent question, Why does my CD4 count go up and down?

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