Also known as primary HIV infection or acute retroviral syndrome.
Early stage of HIV infection that extends approximately 1 to 4 weeks from initial infection until the body produces enough HIV antibodies to be detected by an HIV antibody test. During acute HIV infection, HIV is highly infectious because the virus is multiplying rapidly. The rapid increase in HIV viral load can be detected before HIV antibodies are present.
Acute HIV infection is characterized by a drop in CD4 cell counts and an increase in HIV levels in the blood.
Some, but not all, individuals experience flu-like symptoms during this period of infection. These symptoms, collectively known as AIDS-related complex, can include fever, inflamed lymph nodes, sore throat, and rash. These symptoms may last from a few days to 4 weeks and then go away.