HIV/AIDS

Quick Links

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

CD4 count (or T-cell test)

for Veterans and the Public

CD4 count (or T-cell count)

The CD4 count is like a snapshot of how well your immune system is functioning. CD4 cells (also known as CD4+ T cells) are white blood cells that fight infection. The more you have, the better. These are the cells that HIV kills. As HIV infection progresses, the number of these cells declines. When the CD4 count drops below 200 due to advanced HIV disease, a person is diagnosed with AIDS. A normal range for CD4 cells is between 600 and 1,500. Usually, when a person with low CD4 cells starts HIV medicines, the CD4 cell count increases as the HIV virus is controlled. Most but not all people will experience an increase in CD4 cell with effective HIV treatment.

The higher your CD4 count, the better.

The same test that measures your CD4 count usually includes a CD8 cell count, too. CD8 cells (also known as CD8+ T cells) are another type of white blood cell that seek out and destroy cells infected with viruses, including HIV-infected cells.

Pop question: True or false. A normal range for a CD4 count is 600 and 1,500.

Answer: TRUE. A normal range for a CD4 count is 600 and 1,500.