Q and A


How can I get my CD4 count to increase?

Hi – what can I do to help increase my CD4? I have just found out I am at undetectable level after 8 weeks on treatment which is great. my CD4 has gone from 95 to 166 (after 4 weeks) and is now 173 after 8 weeks. I know it can take time for the CD4 to recover when the base level is low as mine but I am still disheartened as I was really hoping for it to have rebounded a bit better than this. What can I do to help it increase? Many thanks for your advice.


Thank you for your question.

Your CD4 count is doing really well and increasing nicely. Most people take 6-12 months for their CD4 counts to increase significantly. You are doing really well and have nothing to feel disheartened about.

There is very little anyone can do to increase their CD4 counts accept using HIV treatment which you are already doing. However, there are some things that you can do to maintain your CD4 count and ensure it stays up. This includes eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, not getting stressed out, not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation and generally looking after yourself.

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 Bella,

    Your CD4 is very low, therefore its very important that you start ARVs as soon as possible. Yyou have mentioned this, however when are you due to start? Ideally it should be straight away.

    Other than ARVs there isn’t anything you can do to increase your CD4 count. This is why its important to start.

    For what you need to do for your own health because your CD4 is low, please see here:


  2. Bella

    I’ve just found out that I’m HIV positive. My CD4 is 3. I’ll start my treatment asap. Is there any possibility for me to increase my CD4 without treatment?

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Promise,

    If you’ve been on meds for 5 years and your viral load is still detectable, (so more than 50) this means that the meds you are taking aren’t working. You need to go and see your doctor as soon as possible. They will need to do a resistance test. They will need to change your medication. If the clinic aren’t any good, please go somewhere else.

    Also, your CD4 is still quit low. Has it always been like this?

  4. promise

    I’ve been positive for 14 years. I’ve been on ARVs for the last 5. My problem is my viral load is very high (39899) if I may recall correctly my CD4 is 216 I have high blood pressure 180/100 weigh 95,5 kg. I’m eating well, I take my meds on time every day, but I cant sleep at night because my feet are very sore. I can’t even put them inside the blankets. I tried to explain to the clinic but no help so far, is there any table that you can recommend for this?

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Liz,

    Being diagnosed with HIV can be difficult. Give yourself some time to breath. You will be OK. For more about being recently diagnosed please see here:


    What you need to do is go to a clinic and have a test there. If it is positive they’ll be able to help you and explain what treatment you’ll need to take. Thoughts of treatment can be scary, however treatment for HIV is very effective. Its the treatment that will help you live well.

    Thoughts of death are common when you’re first diagnosed. However, with treatment you’re life expectancy can easily be the same as it would have been if you weren’t positive. It really is that good.

    Telling people that your positive can be hard, and relationships do and can change. However, take your time and only tell people when you’re ready. Being able to talk to others who are positive may help. Are there any support groups near to where you live?

    With your boyfriend, if you’ve been having unprotected sex, do you think he may be positive as well?

  6. liz

    Hi, I tested myself on 17th of January 2017 and the results were positive. Firstly, I can’t believe that this is true. I want to redo the test tomorrow. Secondly, I am so scared of how I will tell my boyfriend and parents that I am positive. I am the first born in a family of 5 and I feel like I am going to die soon and not being able to help my siblings and parents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Posting rules. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>