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What is T-cell or CD4 count?

The T-cell or CD4 count is measuring your immune system, how strong your immune system is and you want that to be high.
A normal T-cell count is usually between the area of about 450 and 1,100. That being said, some people, their set point may be different. So some people always live around 500 T-cells. No matter if they’re on medications, off medications, HIV negative, positive, it doesn’t matter. Some people live around 1,100. The important part is not to compare yourself to other people all the time. If you feel fine, just remember that’s a part of it. Your norm is not everybody else’s norm, so don’t compare yourself to your friends and what other people have. Just know what your T-cell count is and you may be on the lower end of the range or you may be on the higher end of the range as long as you’re feeling good, that’s the main point.

Dr. David Malebranche, MD, MPH, a clinician-researcher specializing in HIV, gives the lowdown on all things HIV care and treatment in the latest installment of the #AskTheHIVDoc video series.


#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than HIV featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decision.

While we make every effort to keep the medical information on our website updated, we cannot guarantee that the information reflects the most up-to-date research. Also, please note the views expressed by individuals who appear in Greater Than HIV videos and other content are their own and are not made on behalf of any groups/organizations/associations.