Q and A

Question

My CD4 count is low and I’m losing weight, why?

I have recently been diagnosed as positive and my CD4 count is 24. I’m very weak and loosing weight. I have started treatment but am getting weak more everyday. What can do to get energy to help myself cooking and going to work?

Answer

Hi,

Thanks for getting in touch.

Do you have much support for your recent diagnosis?

It’s great you have started treatment (ART). ART is very effective, even at low CD4 counts. As your immune system is still weak, it’s very important you see you doctor about your weight loss and lack of energy. You are risk of developing infections like TB or pneumonia and your doctor will need to look into this. Most people gain weight when starting treatment and can feel like they have more energy.

Sometimes when people start ART with low CD4 count they can also develop a condition called IRIS (Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome). IRIS is when the immune system reacts to infections that is was previously too weak to respond to. Your doctor will be able to check for this and help to manage it if necessary.

2 comments

  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Yashbhatia,

    Do you mean Isentress HD? This is raltegravir. What other ART meds are you taking? And do you have access to your viral load result? Please let us know.

    Most people gain weight when starting treatment. But you can talk to your doctor about diet advice. There are many tips on nutritious foods in this guide to a balanced diet and your health. Changes to your diet can help you gain weight and energy.

  2. Yashbhatia

    My CD4 count is 450 I’m HD treatment around 1 year ART therapy so why I don’t gain body weight still remain weaker weaker day

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