Q and A


I started ART without a CD4 test… can I really life another 10 years?

Am Joe and I am 28yrs. I just got to know my HIV status is positive and I am on treatment but there are no machines to determine my cd4 count. what do I do? I am told one can live for ten years. Is this true? I am scared and frustrated.


Hi Joe

I know it is really tough to have this news, but it is good that you have access to treatment and have been able to start.

Even without a CD4 count, the meds will be good, but it is very strange to here that there might not be a way to get his test.

It would help to know which country you are writing from. Also, whether you go to a clinic in the city or the countryside.

To answer your main question, people can definitely life for 10 years if they have access to treatment. Many people have been using treatment for twice this long – for over twenty years. Based on these results, Your life expectancy can be the same as if you were still HIV negative.

If you want to email me more information, please send it the same way or send it to: questions@i-base.org.uk


  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Shubham,

    Yes, the good news is your friend can live a normal life.

    A CD4 count of 857 is strong. And if viral load is undetectable on HIV treatment, she can have a life expectancy similar to someone who is HIV negative.

    Please see this Introduction to ART in Pictures for more info.

  2. Shubham

    Hi i m shubham…one of my frnd having HIV positive for 2-3 years..and she is taking treatment ..her CD4 cell is 857…my questions is if she will take care of herself….she can live normal life…

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Olwe,

    It not possible for anyone to say what the chances are of your baby being born negative. However as you’re on medication and your viral load is undetectable the risks are very low. For more info about HIV and pregnancy, please see here:


  4. Olwe

    Hi, im a pregnant women who had a cd4 count went from 395 and viral load of 17000 to 240 but viral load was lower than detected in January 2018 only startd treatment in September 2017 and my partner’s cd4 count is above 1000 viral load not detected. What are the chances of me infecting my new born

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Jr,

    Its very possible that there will have been an increase in your CD4. Therefore, if you want to have it tested then you can.

  6. Jr

    Hi writing you from the Philippines. The viral load test in mu country is expensive but I am just wondering I’ve been on treatment for a month now and I wanted to have my cd4 count checked again (I started with 227). Is it possible to see an increase on my cd4 count although i’ve been on treatment for just a month?


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