Stages of HIV infection
Once HIV starts trying to get inside the cells of your immune system, antibodies are created to fight it off. This process called seroconversion takes from a few weeks to three months. In most people it happens within 45 days of infection.
Some people have a short illness soon after they become infected. Common symptoms include a fever lasting more than a few days, sore throat, aching limbs, a blotchy red rash, headache, diarrhoea and mouth ulcers. Some people mistake it for the flu, but for some people it is more severe and they may need to see a doctor. Because of the symptoms remind of many other conditions, HIV might not be diagnosed at the time.
This stage of HIV infection is sometimes called primary or acute HIV infection. Most people who become infected with HIV do not know it at the time and are most infectious.