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CD4 counts and infections

for Veterans and the Public

CD4 counts and infections

The weaker your immune system, the more likely you are to get an OI.

In general, here's how a CD4 count relates to your risk of OIs:

Above 500 CD4 cells
If you are taking your HIV medications regularly, no unusual infections are likely to occur.

200-500 CD4 cells
There is an increased risk for certain conditions, such as shingles, thrush, skin infections, bacterial sinus and lung infections, and TB.

<200 CD4 cells
There is an increased risk for PCP (pneumonia) and other infections, and you should begin treatment to prevent them.

<100 CD4 cells
If counts are below 100, preventive treatment should begin for Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC),a life-threatening bacterial infection and toxoplasmosis, a disease that results from infection with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite (if not already on PCP prophylaxis that helps prevent toxoplasmosis, like trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole).

<50 CD4 cells
There is an increased risk for cytomegalovirus (a common infection and member of the herpesvirus family).