Q and A


My CD4 is low, how can I increase it?

I’m HIV positive. I kept it a secret from 2016 till I started losing weight and my mom was worried.

I have started with treatment but my CD4 count is only 16.

I’m always sick and I feel very weak. Sometimes feel like I will never reach 200 nor get my life back to normal.

I’m lucky because my family are supportive.

What can I do to improve my CD4 count? And why am I changed from Atroiza to Odimune medication?


Thanks for getting in touch.

Though your CD4 count is very low, you’re already doing everything right. The best thing that you can do is to be taking HIV treatment (ART).

ART will help your body to recover. Over time, as long as you take your meds, your CD4 will steadily become higher. For now, think about it rising to 50, then 100 etc.

This might take a little time – maybe t year to get to 50, or 100, this is all still good. Every day your immune system will steadily be getting stronger.

But because your CD4 count is low, your body also needs some extra help.

You should be taking a course of antibiotics as well as TB meds if you live in a TB prone area. Please ask for your eyes to be checked by a doctor for CMV. Also to have regular check ups with your doctor. Please see here: https://i-base.info/qa/4643

Atroiza and Odimune are different makes of the same medicine. They are both generic versions of an ARV called Atripla.

This means is that they contain the same drugs. It’s common to switch between the various brands. This is safe.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Precious,

    If you’re positive and you want to know what your CD4 count is, you’ll need to have a blood test, this is the only way to find out what it is.

    If your CD4 is below 350 and you live in a TB prone country, this will explain why you’ve been given TB meds.

    With regards to antibiotics, if your CD4 is below 350 then you should be taking something called Bactrim, depending on where it is that you live, this may be known under another name, for example. Co-trimoxazole.

  2. Precious

    I am taking Tb medication also i do take vitamin B Complex supplements and Antioxidants are they safe? and which antibiotics can you as a doctor recommend because my clinic doesn’t give out such info and to check my CD4 count progress is it through blood only?


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