Q and A


Does masturbation affect my CD4 count?

I have been HIV+ for 6 months.

My first CD4 count was 740 back in July. Recently, it went down to 440 in Nov. But my Viral load improved from 45000 to 38000.

What does this mean?

I haven’t started medication yet.

I was masturbating regularly daily. Does masturbation have anything to do with CD4 count/viral load?

Since my last test results, I have completely stopped masturbating. Will this help or things worse?

I exercise daily 40-45 minutes (at least 5 days/week). My weight pretty much remains the same. I feel healthy and just normal otherwise.

Do you have any particular exercise recommendations? I am doing treadmill 25-30 min for about 2 miles, weight lifting and dumbells 10-20 lbs.



Thanks for your email.

Both of your CD4 counts are very good. To really know if your CD4 count is dropping you would need to see the trend over a few results. This is because CD4 counts can fluctuate, and the tests aren’t very accurate. You can read more about this on our CD4 count FAQs page.

Masturbation doesn’t have any negative effects on CD4 counts or viral loads.

It’s great that you are keeping active and exercising regularly. I don’t have any specific recommendations but you can read more about diet and exercise in our guide to HIV and your quality of life.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Asim,

    Having a cough or a slight flu could be due to a number of things. This isn’t an indication that there is a possible problem with your meds. To know if there are any problems you’ll need to have your viral load and CD4 count tested.

  2. Asim

    I have tested Hiv+ in August with CD4 count of 226 since then I m on Trsutiva but but my condition is getting worst in morning I wake up with slight flu and cough. Does it mean my HIV treatment is not working?

  3. Robin Jakob


    Many HIV positive women, in couples like yours, safely have HIV negative children.

    You can find lots of information about this here:

    And more information about starting treatment here:

  4. bongiwe

    I tested HIV+ last year in dec and my CD4 count was 23. I started ARVs,my boyfriend is negative so the thing is I’ve always wanted a child, what can we do?

  5. Robin Jakob


    This should not affect your CD4 count.

  6. Victor

    I am addicted to masturbation. does it or would it affect my cd4 count? I was diagnosed with the virus last year and I have started treatment. please i need your answer

  7. Simon Collins

    Hi Mathurin

    Because your question is a new subject I have answered it as a new question here:

  8. Mathurin


    I was dagnosed with HIV this year and my CD4 count was 387. Can the CD4 count determine how long i have had the virus?

    What are the type of meal should i eat to keep my CD4 count high and when is the right time to start ARV’s?

  9. N.J

    i tested hiv+ on april 2012 my cd4 was 210, i din’t believe i have in december i tested again cd4 was 180 in January 2013 i stated to arranged to take medications my cd4 drop to 140. My guestion is in 8 months cd4 drop with 30 from April to Dec, Dec to Jan with 40 was a few weeks the was something wrong i did?

  10. Rebecca McDowall

    Hi NJ,

    CD4 counts aren’t very accurate and only give approximate results. So it’s difficult to say whether this difference of 40 is accurate or not. Either way, though, it’s not your fault that this happened and it’s good that you are arranging to get treatment. Have you started treatment yet?


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