Q and A


Can I predict my expected CD4 increase after starting treatment?



Everyone has an individual response to treatment.

In general, compared to the rapid drop in viral load, the CD4 change is a slower and more steady increase.

How quickly and how high the CD4 count increases mainly relates to your CD4 count when you start treatment.

  • The lower your CD4 count when you start, the more likely it will respond slowly and not get so high.
  • The higher your CD4 count when you start, the more likely it will increase more quickly and reach higher levels.

A new online calculator can compare your results to the average of people who start at the same CD4 count.


  • This involves you putting in details before you started treatment. For example, your age, sex, CD4 and viral load etc (or as much information as you know).
  • Then you put in the CD4 result and date of the next test (within 9 months of starting).

Please interpret the results cautiously though. They re just compared to average. Even if you get a lower than average response, you are still very likely to well on treatment.

The results are plotted on a similar graph to the one below.

Graph showing average CD4 count gain over time


i-Base guide to ART. “Average CD4 increases by starting CD4 count”. (September 2016).


  1. Simon Collins

    Hi, it is great you are on treatment. There is plenty of time for your viral load to become undetectable before the baby is due. Treatment is the best way to make sure your baby is negative. Good luck with everything. Your CD4 count is also good and will go higher on treatment.

  2. girl

    i am 7 months pregnant and im hiv +. ive started taking my arv but due in three months. is my bby coming going to b positive my cd4 is 320.


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