HIV/AIDS Glossary

Acute HIV Infection

Synonym(s): Primary HIV Infection

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.

Related Term(s): Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Acute Retroviral Syndrome, Chronic HIV Infection, HIV Progression, Viral Load

Image(s):

(Click to enlarge)
Progression of HIV infection to AIDS illustrated with test tubes, CD4 cells, and virions.

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