General FAQ

How and why did conference organizers make the decision to host a virtual conference in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our decision, informed by advice from the WHO, UNAIDS, CDC and leading global and local health authorities, was based on the following considerations:

  • We are acutely aware that there is not yet sufficient data on whether people with HIV are more susceptible to COVID-19 or more likely to develop severe disease. Therefore, we have a special obligation to reduce any potential risk to the HIV community.
  • Many of those who were planning to attend the conference are now working on the front lines in the effort against COVID-19 around the world. We have a responsibility to not put any of these individuals – or their home communities – at risk nor redirect their efforts in the midst of the pandemic.
  • The trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unknown and it remains unclear when it will be safe, permissible and logistically possible to hold an in person international conference of this size.

Why aren’t you holding an in-person conference at a later date?

We are committed to ensuring that AIDS 2020 delegates have access to and can engage with the latest HIV science, advocacy and knowledge. The trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unknown and it remains unclear when it will be safe, permissible and logistically possible to hold an international conference of this size. Now is not the time to postpone as the global HIV agenda remains an important one that requires our collective commitment. Now is the time to enable, to act and to reimagine the global conference format in order to drive impact and advance science, policy and community response.

Will AIDS 2020: Virtual take place during the same period (6-10 July 2020)?

Yes, AIDS 2020: Virtual will take place during the same week as originally planned, 6-10 July 2020.

What can I expect from the new virtual conference format?

AIDS 2020: Virtual will enable delegates to access and engage with the latest HIV science, advocacy and knowledge traditionally presented at the International AIDS Conference. It will be a compelling combination of virtual sessions and community networking, including exhibitions, workshops, the Global Village, satellites and pre-conferences, that will reach audiences around the world.

Will the plenary speakers and themes be the same as those announced in March?

Yes, you can expect the same plenary speakers as announced in March.

What will happen to the AIDS 2020 Volunteer Programme?

The AIDS 2020 Volunteer team thanks everyone who has submitted a volunteer application for AIDS 2020. The AIDS 2020 Volunteer team will be in contact with the volunteer applicants shortly.

Will I need special computer equipment, software or training to participate in the virtual conference?

You will not need special technologies or equipment to participate in AIDS 2020: Virtual. Our priority remains that the content of the conference is accessible around the world.

Will there be a virtual Global Village and Youth Pavilion?

Yes. Final selection of activities and sessions by the Global Village and Youth Pavilion working group is currently underway. You will be notified in early April if your submission has been accepted for presentation at AIDS 2020: Virtual. Once you have confirmed your participation, the AIDS 2020: Virtual Global Village and Youth Pavilion team will be in contact with you to discuss the virtual format and other options.

What will happen to hotel reservations?

Individual Bookings – all hotel reservations will be cancelled on your behalf by the AIDS 2020 Accommodation Team (c/o MCI USA). Your deposit will be fully refunded within 90-days from the official cancellation date of AIDS 2020 (by end of June 2020). Refunds are made in the same form that the payment was made. The current situation has caused a significant backlog and MCI USA will be processing individual refunds as quickly as possible.  There is no further action required on your part; you will not need to request a cancellation of your hotel reservation – you will automatically receive an email confirming the cancellation in the next 7 days. Once your refund has been processed you will receive another email confirming this.

Group Bookings – all hotel reservations will be cancelled on your behalf by the AIDS 2020 Accommodation Team (c/o MCI USA). There is no further action on your part; you will not need to request a cancellation of your hotel reservation – you will receive an email from MCI USA in the next 7 days confirming cancellation of your block.

Thank you for your patience during this time. If you have any questions, please contact the AIDS 2020: Virtual Accommodation Team (c/o MCI USA) at accommodation@aids2020.org

Registration

How do I register for AIDS 2020: Virtual?

All individual registrations for AIDS 2020: Virtual must be submitted through the online registration form. The updated online registration system will be live from Tuesday, 31 March.

For group registrations (five people or more), please nominate a representative to administer the group booking with the AIDS 2020: Virtual Registration team. Groups must register by 20 June.

If I have already registered for the conference, is my registration still valid?

If you have already paid for your AIDS 2020 registration, you will be automatically registered for the virtual experience. Based on the new virtual registration fee structure, you will be refunded the difference between the amount you have paid and your applicable registration fee for AIDS 2020: Virtual.

I am a journalist registered to attend AIDS 2020, what happens to my registration?

As a media representative registered to attend the conference, you will have the same access you would have otherwise had at an in-person conference. Press briefings will also take place, albeit virtually. Our media team will communicate further information in due course.

Are media still able to register for AIDS 2020: Virtual?

Yes, media registration is free for qualified individuals who are attending AIDS 2020: Virtual in their capacity as journalists.

If I want to cancel my registration, what are the conditions?

If written notification of cancellation (including all relevant information regarding the bank account, if applicable) is received on or before 30 April 2020, 24:00 CET, 50% of the registration fee will be refunded.

No refund requests will be accepted after 30 April 2020. The cancellation will not be effective until a written acknowledgement from the AIDS 2020 Registration team is received.

Is AIDS 2020 still charging people the same amount to register as a delegate now that the conference is virtual?

Registration fees for AIDS 2020: Virtual will not be the same as the original pricing structure of the conference. There is no differentiation between early, standard and late fees. The revised fee structure for the virtual conference is published on the website with considerable reductions in delegate, student/young people and post-doctorate fees.

Scholarships

What will happen to the AIDS 2020 Scholarship Programme?

If you applied for a scholarship, your application will still be considered and the programme remains a core part of AIDS2020: Virtual. Increased support will be provided to selected scholarship recipients in the form of:

  • Full access to AIDS 2020: Virtual
  • Enriched and tailored remote content providing educational opportunities before and during the conference
  • Dedicated support from the Scholarships and Technical team

The same criteria will apply, and notifications will be sent to all applicants in the course of April.

What if I have applied for a media scholarship?

Registration is free of charge for all accredited media delegates. The credentials you provided in your media scholarship application will serve for your application for media accreditation to access AIDS 2020: Virtual.

If I have questions about my scholarship status, who can I talk to?

For enquires about your scholarship status, please contact the AIDS 2020: Virtual Scholarship team.

Sign up to receive updates about AIDS 2020: Virtual conference programme and interactive opportunities.

Programme Submissions

I have already submitted an abstract. What happens now? If my abstract is accepted, how do I present it?

Final selection of abstracts by the Scientific Programme Committee is currently taking place. You will be notified in early April if your abstract is accepted for presentation at AIDS 2020: Virtual.

Once you have confirmed your presentation, we will be in touch with further instructions on how your abstract will be presented.

Can I still submit a late-breaker abstract?

The late-breaker submission period for AIDS 2020: Virtual has been shifted to open on 15 April and close on 14 May 2020 to allow more time for authors to submit research. We welcome late-breakers that address the implications of COVID-19 for the global HIV response.

Will the conference feature workshops?

The AIDS 2020: Virtual Workshop Programme will offer opportunities for online knowledge transfer, interactive skills development and global collaborative learning. You will be notified in early April if your workshop submission was selected.

Will there be a virtual Global Village and Youth Pavilion?

Yes. Final selection of activities and sessions by the Global Village and Youth Pavilion working group is currently underway. You will be notified in early April if your submission has been accepted for presentation at AIDS 2020: Virtual. Once you have confirmed your participation, the AIDS 2020: Virtual Global Village and Youth Pavilion team will be in contact with you to discuss the virtual format and other options.

For organizers

Satellites, Exhibition and Pre-Conferences

Will there be virtual satellite symposia?

Yes. If you are a satellite organizer, the AIDS 2020: Virtual Satellite team will be in touch with you soon to discuss the virtual format.

If I want to cancel the satellite I am organizing, what are the conditions?

If the written notification of cancellation (including all relevant information regarding the bank account, if applicable) is received on or before 30 April 2020, 24:00 CET, 50% of the fee will be refunded. No refund requests will be accepted after 30 April 2020. The cancellation will not be effective until a written acknowledgement from the AIDS 2020 Satellite team is received.

Will there be virtual pre-conferences?

Yes, pre-conferences have always been an important component of the conference programme and will remain so, taking place in a virtual setting for the first time this year. If you are a pre-conference organizer, the AIDS 2020: Virtual Pre-Conference team will be in touch with you directly to share more information. Details on how to attend or sign up for a pre-conference will be announced in due course.

Will the conference feature an exhibition?

Yes, if you have booked an exhibition space or booth, the AIDS 2020 Exhibition team will be in contact with you soon to discuss the virtual format.

If I want to cancel my exhibition package, what are the conditions?

If the written notification of cancellation (including all relevant information regarding the bank account if applicable) is received on or before 30 April 2020, 24:00 CET, 50% of the fee will be refunded. No refund requests will be accepted after 30 April 2020. The cancellation will not be effective until a written acknowledgement from the AIDS 2020 Exhibition team is received.