The accuracy of a novel community health worker antiretroviral therapy eligibility assessment tool was examined in community members in Blantyre, Malawi. Nurses independently performed World Health Organization (WHO) staging and CD4 counts. One hundred ten (55.6%) of 198 HIV-positive participants had a CD4 count of <350 cells per cubic millimeter. The community health worker tool significantly outperformed WHO clinical staging in identifying CD4 count of <350 cells per cubic millimeter in terms of sensitivity (41% vs. 19%), positive predictive value (75% vs. 68%), negative predictive values (53% vs. 47%), and area under the receiver-operator curve (0.62 vs. 0.54; P = 0.017). Reliance on WHO staging is likely to result in missed and delayed antiretroviral therapy initiation.