Q and A


What causes my CD4 to drop from 220 to 30 in less than a month?

Can you please tell me what would cause my CD4 count of 220 drop to 30 in less then a month?


A big drop in CD4 count is highly unusual – it can also be a lab error, in which case it needs confirming immediately.  Go and speak to your doctor so that they can run the test again.  If the results are the same then ask your doctor to check your CD4 percentage to see if there is any changes.  If there are changes, then you would need to start or change your treatment immediately.  By the way have you started your treatment yet?  If so what type of HIV drugs are you taking?

Your CD4 has drop to quite a low level and this means that you are prone to other opportunistic infections (OIs).  Many people with very low CD4, even below 10, can still remain healthy.  It just means that the risks of being infected by HIV-related illness increases as the CD4 count drops.

Your best option is to see your HIV doctor immediately.  Your doctor should be able to investigate the cause of the problem.  People with CD4 below 50 is much more susceptible to CMV (cytomegalovirus) – a viral infection that affect your eyes and vision.  They will be able to provide you with prophylaxis and also an eye examination.

If you are not on treatment then you must start immediately.  If you are on treatment then this means that your treatment is not working for you.  Another reason is that you could have another health complication and it has become acute.  So further investigation by doctor is needed.

A very detailed answer to a similar question are at this link which you may find useful, and another link about CD4 and viral load.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Chantel,

    If you’ve been told that your CD4 is very low, you need to start taking ARVs, this is if you aren’t already using them. You should also follow the advice here: https://i-base.info/qa/4643

    It’s very possible to recover with a low CD4, treatment however is key, as too is having the right medical support.

  2. Chantel

    I was once told that my cd4 is 3

  3. Lisa Thorley


    Is your brother HIV positive? If he is what is his CD4 count?

  4. Boniswa

    My brother’s cd4 count was low. He was having blood transfusion but as hr became better he lost his eyesight both eyes. Can that be a cause of cd4 count

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Richard.

    Though a CD4 count of 22 is low, it is still very possible that you can recover. What’s important now is that you start taking ARVs. Ideally you should also be under specialist care just in case you develop any opportunistic infections as well as follow the advice in this link: http://i-base.info/qa/4643

  6. Richard

    I just found out I have aids, my cd4 count is at 22

  7. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Sunita,

    Are they taking HIV treatment and what other meds ar they taking? And do the have access to their viral load results? Please let us know what meds they are.

  8. Sunita

    My sisters husband have hiv last one year
    and now cd4 is 47
    Her weight los in 47 kg so what happens next


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