Q and A


How do I improve and maintain my CD4 count?

I am HIV positive and my CD4 count is 696. How can I improve it or maintain it?


In general, the only way to increase your CD4 count is to use HIV treatment (ART).

No other products can increase your CD4 count – not vitamins, supplements or herbal remedies.

ART works by stopping the virus from replicating.  As your viral load is reduced your CD4 count will start to rise again.

Lifestyle changes can still be very important for your general health. Eating a nutritious balanced diet, exercising regularly, reducing stress, sleeping well and stopping smoking can help to maintain a healthy immune system. These things are good for your health but just don’t have a direct impact on your CD4 count.

When you use ART, the information at this link on starting treatment will help.

Knowing about and understanding ART will help you feel in control over your treatment.

This answer was updated in January 2016 from a question first posted on 8 March 2012.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi John,

    Yes you can take your meds with beer, there won’t be an interaction.

  2. John

    Is it OK to take ARV’s with a beer instead of water?

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Michael,

    It’s good that you’re taking Avonza, it’s a generic version of Atripla.

    But what does your doctor say about your CD4 count? On average, the normal CD4 range for an HIV negative person is between 460 and 1600. The CD4 count is a guide to how strong the immune system is. CD4 cells lead the attack aaginst infection.

    The CD4 percentage refers to percentage of total lymphocytes that are CD4 cells.

    Do you have access to your viral load results? That’s because an undetectable viral load on Atroiza can give your CD4 count the chance to recover.

    But you can talk to the doctor and ask about treatment for other infections when your CD4 count is below 200. Please let us know more info.


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