Q and A


Is there hope my CD4 test numbers will go up?

I tested HIV positive 10 days ago and started ARV 3 days ago. These are my blood test results;

Absolute Lymphocyte count 182
CD4 positive cells %6.5
Absolute CD4 + Cell counts 95

Am I diagnosed with AIDS and is there any chance or hope that I recover? My body is feeling much better after getting the ARV, however today I had sore throat and I got antibiotics Amoxicillin 500.

Please may you explain these numbers for me? just be frank with me and not to have any fake hope. Thanks in Advance.


Hi, how are you doing?

It is great that you have started ARVs. This is the best and only way that your CD4 count will begin to recover.

There is hope and no you do not have AIDS. In the UK AIDS is no longer used clinically because starting treatment means that you can recover from AIDS. For this reason you do not need to be labelled as living with AIDS.

Your current CD4 count is low and does put you at risk of other infections. Have you been given an antibiotic called co-trimoxazole (Bactrim or Septrim)? This is an antibiotic that is given to people with low CD4 counts to prevent other infections.

Your absolute CD4 count and CD4% largely mean the same thing. That your CD4 count is low and this means your immune system is not working as well as it could. Now that you have started medication, this number will start to go up and your immune system can start to heal.

Your absolute lymphocyte count is less helpful in the context of HIV. This is because it looks at a number of cells and does not provide a clear picture of what is going on.

Recovery of CD4 cells can take time and starting from a lower count will even take longer. But this does not mean it will not recover. It will just take time. It is great that you are already feeling better being on ARVs and this should continue to improve.



  1. Simon Collins

    Hi Asa, Xeroprim and Bactrim are different brands of the same medicines. The contain two antibiotics that give you general protection if you have a low CD4 count.

  2. Asa

    Is Xeroprim not an antibiotic for people with a low cd 4 count because the clinic gave me xeroprim instead of Bactrim?


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