Understanding the earliest immune responses following HIV infection is critical to inform future vaccines and therapeutics. Here, we review recent prospective human studies in at-risk populations that have provided insight into immune responses during acute infection, including additional relevant data from non-human primate (NHP) studies. We discuss the timing, nature, and function of the diverse immune responses induced, the onset of immune dysfunction, and the effects of early anti-retroviral therapy administration. Treatment at onset of viremia mitigates peripheral T and B cell dysfunction, limits seroconversion, and enhances cellular antiviral immunity despite persistence of infection in lymphoid tissues. We highlight pertinent areas for future investigation, and how application of high-throughput technologies, alongside targeted NHP studies, may elucidate immune response features to target in novel preventions and cures.
Evolution and diversity of immune responses during acute HIV infection