This research evaluates the use of Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique for characterizing acoustic streaming flow generated by High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). PIV qualification tests, focusing on the seeding particle size (diameter of 5, 20 and 50 μm) were carried out in degassed water subjected to a focused field of 550 kHz-frequency with an acoustic pressure amplitude of 5.2, 10.5 and 15.7 bar at the focus. This study shows that the ultrasonic field, especially the radiation force, can strongly affect seeding particle behavior. Large particles (50 μm-diameter) are repelled from the focal zone and gathered at radiation pressure convergence lines on either side of the focus. The calculation of the acoustic radiation pressure applied on these particles explains the observed phenomenon. PIV measurements do not, therefore, properly characterize the streaming flow in this case. On the contrary, small particles (5 μm-diameter) velocity measurements were in good agreement with the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of the water velocity field. A simple criterion approximating the diameter threshold below which seeding particles are qualified for PIV in presence of focused ultrasound is then proposed.