Q and A


Can other infection lower my CD4 count?

Please can you answer my question, can there be other infection or virus that can cause the drop in my CD4 count to 320 beside from HIV? I really needs to know.


If you have any form infection from either a virus, bacteria, fungal or parasite (from common cold to other opportunistic illness) then it mean that your immune system has been compromise and there will be a drop in your CD4 count. The level to which it drops also depends on how long you had the infection and how strong your immune system.

When someone is newly diagnosed with HIV, their viral load will goes up and their CD4 count will drop.  Your CD4 will increase after starting treatment, your immune system is often able to deal with these infections by itself again.  The normal range of CD4 count for someone who is HIV negative can be anywhere form 400 to 1600 and 2-3% of people are naturally higher or lower than this.  This is the reason why you need to have an antibody test, and not just viral load.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Sasha,

    People who are positive and on meds still get ill, just like negative people. When you say sick, what exactly do you mean? Have you discussed your illnesses with a doctor.

  2. Sasha

    Hi – I am Sasha . I’ve been infected with HIV since mid 2013 . I have had the hardest road with this thing . I’m 34 and I have been on my meds since 2015 …I’ve messed up on my regimen but I’m still on one pill a day and its great but I’m still getting sick. My CD4 is 538.

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Caroline,

    No it can’t. If you didn’t contract HIV from your ex, this means that you contracted it from someone else.

    Are you on medication?

  4. Caroline

    Hi i just want to know i had lyme disease in 2013. Sins then i was in a relationship for a year. After we broke up i was 2 years single and didn’t sleep with anyone. I went to donate blood on june and the told me i am HIV positive. I called my ex and he went for a test and he is hiv negative. Can it be the lyme disease that wasn’t fully cured. My cd4 is 43

  5. Simon Collins

    Hi Michael – I hope you are both doing okay as finding out you are positive is difficult. At least you can help each other with this and support each other. If you have been having sex without condoms up to now, then the only reasons to start using condoms now are concern for STIs or pregnancy. You can’t tell who became positive first from your CD4 counts. It is better thought to just look forwards in looking after both of your health. Your own CD4 count means it is more important for you to use HIV treatment now, because is is less than 300.

  6. Michael

    Hi – I am Nkosinathi, please help me, my gf tested for HIV and find that she is positive and I decided to test as well. It came back with positive. When we check our CD4 count mine is 243 and hers is 1200. Does this means I got infected first or what? Since we both positive can we have unprotected sex?


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