Q and A


My CD4 count is 7 – what can I do to improve it?

Hi, my cd4 count is 7. What can I do to improve it?


Hi there

Thanks for your email – it is really good that you got in touch.

To give a good answer though I need to have more information.

This is because the answer will be different if you have just been diagnosed to if you are already on treatment.

Your CD4 count is very low but HIV treatment can still work very well.

If just diagnosed…

If you have just found out you are HIV positive it is important to start HIV treatment (called ART).

Your CD4 count is very low. You need to use ART to get it to a higher level. The first goal is to get this above 50, then 100, then slowly higher about 200 etc.

Your doctor should take other blood tests, including your viral load.

The doctor should also check for other infections, including examining your eyes for an infection called CMV. This needs to continue until your CD4 count is above 50.

You should also be given other medicine, including antibiotics. This will be at least until your CD4 count is above 200, maybe until over 350 or higher.

If already on HIV treatment (ART)…

If you have already been taking HIV treatment for a long time, then your doctor needs to change you meds.

Your CD4 count is so low and your viral load is also likely to be very high. This means the current meds are not working any more. You will have drug resistance to some or all of these meds.

Your doctor also needs to do the same things mentioned above: to have other tests, an eye exam, and to be given antibiotics.


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