Do I have AIDS if my CD4 count is below 200?
11 December 2022. Related: Adherence, All topics, CD4 and viral load, Newly diagnosed.
Hi, I have recently been diagnosed with HIV and my CD4 count is 114. Does this mean I have AIDS? because that’s what the internet is saying if it’s less than 200.
Hi, how are you doing?
No. You do not have AIDS. A CD4 count below 200 is considered part of AIDS, but alone it is not appropriate to diagnose AIDS. A secondary complication (often an infection) would be required for this diagnosis.
AIDS is also much less commonly used now. As with treatment, CD4 counts can increase, AIDS is reversible and as such this diagnosis is no longer used.
Are you on any treatment? When you have a CD4 count below 200, patients are often given their HIV treatment and an antibiotic called co-trimoxazole. This is a treatment used to prevent other infections as your CD4 count recovers.
CD4 recovery can be a slow process. It does not respond in the same way as viral load. HIV treatment prevents HIV breaking down CD4 cells. The body then naturally recovers these cells. Being adherent to medication means your CD4 count will soon be above 200.