15 December 2020

Online abstract submission opens

10 February 2021

23:59 C.E.T
Abstract submission closes. Abstracts, as well as amendments to submitted abstracts, will not be accepted after this date (except for late breakers). 

20 April 2021

Late-breaker abstract submission opens

10 May 2021

Late-breaker abstract submission closes

Scientific tracks

IAS 2021 – the 11th IAS Conference on HIV Science welcomes abstracts for original contributions to the field in the following scientific tracks:   

  • Track A: Basic science 
  • Track B: Clinical science 
  • Track C: Prevention science 
  • Track D: Social, behavioural and implementation science 

Each scientific track is divided into a number of track categories. All abstract authors are asked to choose one scientific track and one track category during the submission process. 

 By submitting an abstract to the conference, you agree to adhere to the conference embargo policy. The policy specifies that while authors may publish the fact that their abstract has been selected for inclusion in the conference programme, data from the abstract may NOT be shared in any form (print, broadcast or online publication, media release or conference presentation) prior to its official presentation at IAS 2021 


  •  For technical questions regarding the abstract submission system, please contact the Abstract Support team at [email protected].
  •  For general questions regarding abstracts, please see the FAQ page.

Call for abstracts

We encourage work that introduces new ideas, concepts and research and deepens understanding in the field, as well as analyses of both successes and failures. Please read the following guidelines carefully before submitting your abstract: 

  •  Abstracts can be submitted only online via the conference account on our website, www.ias2021.org. Submissions by fax, post or email will not be considered.  
  •  All abstracts must be written in English. 
  •  It is the author’s responsibility to submit an abstract with the correct wording. Any errors in spelling, grammar or scientific fact in the abstract text will be reproduced exactly as typed by the author. Abstract titles will be subject to a spellcheck if the abstract is selected for presentation.  

Late-breaker abstracts

A small number of latebreaker abstracts will be accepted for oral or poster presentation at the conference.  

The latebreaker abstract submission will be open from 20 April to 10 May 2021. Latebreaker submissions must introduce data of unquestioned significance that meet a high threshold of scientific merit.  

During abstract submission, authors will have to justify why their abstract should be considered as a late breaker. The same submission rules apply for latebreaker abstracts as for regular abstracts, but each presenting author may present only one latebreaker abstract at the conference.  

The percentage of abstracts selected for late breakers will depend on the number of submissions, but selection will be far more rigorous than for regular abstracts. 

Track A – Basic Science 

With the availability of effective antiretroviral (ARV) therapy which extends the lifespan of people infected with HIV, there is a growing population of older individuals living with HIV who experience an accentuated age-associated decline despite ARV treatment. For these individuals, there is an urgent need to address the potential drivers of health-related decline and persistent immune dysfunction. Concurrently, the majority of people living with HIV reside in resource-limited settings and, while vulnerable to co-infections, face fragmented health systems which increases their risks for chronic co-morbidities. Additionally, finding curative strategies which allow people living with HIV to achieve and remain in remission and safely stop ARVs remains a high priority in light of the significant financial and infrastructural constraints associated with sustaining life-long anti-retroviral therapy for an estimated 38 million people living with HIV globally.

Against this background, track A will highlight the latest scientific findings which help advance our understanding of the interplay between HIV pathogenesis, co-infections, co-morbidities and inflammation in people living with HIV and how these intersect with HIV and age-related outcomes. Track A will further present recent findings regarding the clinical, viral and host factors which modulate the establishment and size of the latent reservoir, newest methodologies to measure HIV latency, and interventions which have shown greatest promise in reversing or permanently silencing latency. In addition, this track will also focus on potential applications of immunotherapy to improve HIV-related immunity, the current status of prophylactic and preventative vaccines as well as advances in B cell receptor engineering to optimize the utilization of broadly neutralizing antibodies as prevention and treatment.

Download the full list of Track A abstract submission categories

Track B – Clinical Science 

As life expectancy of people living with HIV increases and a broadly applicable HIV cure strategy is not to be expected soon, long term treatment remains the method of choice to prevent HIV disease progression for the coming years. While the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy has significantly reduced the devastating impact of the global HIV epidemic in recent decades, kidney disease, neurocognitive disorders, and certain cancers remain continual challenges in the ART era. People living with HIV, including individuals receiving ART, show an increased risk of ischemic heart disease and other serious cardiovascular conditions. Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of death among people living with HIV, who are also at six times higher odds of HCV infection than their HIV‐negative counterparts.

New developments in antiretroviral therapy including treatment simplification, novel antiretrovirals and immunotherapy will be key components of this track including new drug therapies, pharmacokinetics, drug interaction, adherence, short- and long-term adverse events and drug resistance. Biomedical aspects of treatment, care and support in specific populations will be highlighted and specific emphasis given to interactions with COVID-19. In addition to latest research findings and controversies related to the diagnosis, treatment and management of HIV infection, track B will encompass the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of opportunistic infections, co-infections and other long-term complications and co-morbidities.

Download the full list of Track B abstract submission categories

Track C – Prevention Science 

The prevention science track will present updates on the HIV prevention pipeline from evidence of successes through obstacles in the roll-out of existing prevention modalities to their impact on the HIV epidemiology in different populations and geographic areas. Newly identified and promising products in clinical and pre-clinical development such as injectable and implantable long-acting antiretroviral HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), different types and combinations of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies and innovative HIV testing modalities in combination with modalities of delivery of antiretroviral drugs will be discussed. A major area of focus will be the future direction of HIV vaccine research.

Download the full list of Track C abstract submission categories

Track D – Behavioural, Social and Implementation Science 

Evidence suggests that the available toolkit of evidence-based biomedical, behavioral and structural practices and interventions (EBPIs) could end the HIV epidemic, including when combined. Translation of emerging evidence into enabling policies and routine care, however, remains slow, due in part to challenges in adapting results from controlled trials into real-life settings and transferring implementation science results across contexts. The challenges of adaptation and transfer impede our ability to scale up effective prevention and treatment strategies to reach global targets. Emerging EBPIs have been adapted for some key populations and in some contexts resulting in innovations in differentiated care and test and treat models of care, yet incorporation of syndemic strategies, integrated comprehensive care delivery, optimization of technology to facilitate delivery and sustainability will be critical for optimal scale-up. At the same time, many local innovations in the delivery of HIV interventions remain ‘case studies’ of limited validity, because they have never been rigorously tested.

Track D will showcase research on implementation innovations and provide a critical assessment of the factors that promote or impede adoption and scale-up of novel delivery models, with emphasis on emerging strategies like eHealth/mHealth, collaborative learning and community-participatory models of service delivery, strengthening of health systems, and policy development as tools to accelerate the discovery-policy-implementation trajectory. Analysis of economic and political factors that impact service delivery will also be explored to cover multi-level implementation science strategies where new evidence will be presented.

Download the full list of track D abstract submission categories

Policies for abstract submission

Copyright policy 

Abstracts must not include libellous or defamatory content. Material presented in abstracts must not violate any copyright laws. If figures, graphics and/or images have been taken from sources not copyrighted by the author, it is the author’s sole responsibility to secure the rights from the copyright holder in writing to reproduce those figures, graphics and/or images for both worldwide print and web publication. The author must bear all reproduction costs charged by the copyright holder. 

 Resubmission policy 

An abstract that has been previously published or presented at a national, regional or international meeting can be submitted to IAS 2021 only if there are new methods, findings, updated information or other valid reasons for resubmitting.  

If preliminary or partial data have been published or presented previously, the submitting author will be required to provide details of the publication or presentation, along with a justification of why the abstract merits being considered for IAS 2021. The IAS 2021 Scientific Programme Committee will consider this information when making final decisions. 

If the author neglects to provide these required details and justification, or if evidence of previous publication or presentation is found, the abstract will be rejected. 


The conference organizers regard plagiarism as serious professional misconduct. All abstracts are screened for plagiarism and, when identified, the abstract and any other abstracts submitted by the same author are rejected. In addition, the submitting author’s account and scholarship application (if one has been submitted) will be cancelled.  


IAS 2021 may negotiate co-submission of abstracts with affiliated events, pre-events and/or external events. Visit www.ias2021.org for updated information.  

Ethical research declaration  

The conference supports only research that has been conducted according to the protocol approved by the institutional or local committee on ethics in human investigation. Where no such committee exists, the research should have been conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki of the World Medical Association. The IAS 2021 Scientific Programme Committee may enquire further into ethical aspects when evaluating abstracts. 

Conference embargo policy

As is the case with most scientific and medical conferences, abstracts from IAS 2021 are released to delegates and media under a strict embargo policy. A detailed breakdown of the embargo policies for different types of abstracts is available here. All conference delegates, presenters and media agree to respect this policy.  

Abstract submission process

Conference account  

Authors must create a conference account to submit an abstract. More than one abstract can be submitted through a conference account. After an abstract has been created, modifications can be made until 10 February 2021, 23:59 Central European Time.  

Choosing a track category 

The track category is the general heading under which the abstract will be reviewed and later published in the conference materials, if accepted. The track category that best describes the subject of the abstract should be chosen. During the submission process, you will be asked to select one track category for your abstract. 

Abstract structure 

The conference offers two options for abstract submission: 

This is suited for research conducted in all disciplines. Abstracts submitted under Option 1 should contain concise statements of:  

  • Background: Indicate the purpose and objective of the research, the hypothesis that was tested, or a description of the problem being analysed or evaluated. 
  • Methods: Describe the study period, setting and location, study design, study population, data collection and methods of analysis used. 
  • Results: Present as clearly and in as much detail as possible the findings and/or outcomes of the study. Please disaggregate data by age and gender where possible and summarize any specific results. 
  • Conclusions: Explain the significance of your study’s findings and/or outcomes for HIV prevention, treatment, care and/or support and future implications of the results. 

 The following review criteria will be used in scoring abstracts submitted under Option 1: 

  1. Is there a clear background and justified objective? 
  2. Is the methodology and/or study design appropriate for the objectives? 
  3. Are the results important and clearly presented? 
  4. Are the conclusions supported by the results? 
  5. Is the study original and does it contribute to the field?  

This is suited for lessons learned through programme, project or policy implementation or management. Abstracts submitted under Option 2 should contain concise statements of: 

  • Background: Summarize the purpose, scope and objectives of the programme, project or policy. 
  • Description: Describe the programme, project or policy period, setting and location, the structure, key population (if applicable) and activities and interventions undertaken in support of the programme, project or policy. 
  • Lessons learned: Present as clearly and in as much detail as possible the findings and/or outcomes of the programme, project or policy. Include an analysis or evaluation of lessons learned and best practices. Please summarize any specific results that support your lessons learned and best practices. 
  • Conclusions/next steps: Explain the significance of the findings and/or outcomes of the programme, project or policy for HIV prevention, treatment, care and/or support and future implications of the results. 

 The following review criteria will apply to abstracts submitted under Option 2: 

  1. Is there a clear background and justified objective? 
  2. Is the programme, project or policy design and implementation appropriate for the objectives? 
  3. Are the lessons learned or best practices important, supported by the findings and clearly presented? 
  4. Are the conclusions/next steps supported by the results and are they feasible? 
  5. Is the work reported original and does it contribute to the field?   

Disaggregated sex and other demographic data in abstracts   

Authors are encouraged to provide a breakdown of data by sex and other demographics, such as age, geographic region, race/ethnicity and/or other relevant demographic characteristics in submitted abstracts, when appropriate. Your abstract should include the number and percentage of men and women (and additional breakdown by gender, age and/or ethnicity if appropriate) who participated in your research or project. Results should be disaggregated by sex/gender and other relevant demographics. Analyses of any gender-based differences or any other differences between sub-populations should be provided in the Results or Lessons learned sections, if relevant.


Use a standard font, such as Arial, when formatting the text. This helps prevent special characters from getting lost when copying the text to the online abstract submission form. Ensure that you check the final abstract with the system’s preview function before submission, and edit or replace as necessary.

Word limits

The abstract is limited to 350 words. Titles are limited to 30 words.

A maximum of two tables and/or graphs or images in total can be included. A graph or image (in JPG, GIF or PNG, ideally at least 600dpi) counts as 50 words and a table counts as five words per row (50 words maximum).

 Common reasons for abstract rejection: 

  • Abstract poorly written
  • Not enough new information
  • Clear objective and/or hypothesis missing
  • Methods (either quantitative or qualitative) inadequate and/or insufficient to support conclusions
  • Summary of essential results inadequate and/or missing
  • Study conclusions not supported by the data
  • Linkage between different parts of the abstract not comprehensible
  • Duplicate or overlap with another abstract
  • Study too preliminary or insufficient to draw conclusions
  • Study lacks originality.


Abstracts should disclose primary findings and avoid, whenever possible, promissory statements, such as “experiments are in progress” or “results/lessons learned will be discussed”.
If English is not your native language, have your abstract reviewed by a native English speaker before submission.
The IAS offers an Abstract Mentor Programme for less experienced submitters. Please see further information below.

 Submission confirmation 

After submission of the abstract, a confirmation email will be sent to the abstract submitter. In order to receive confirmation, please ensure that emails from [email protected] are not marked as spam by your email provider.

Support programmes

Abstract review and selection process

Abstract review 

All submitted abstracts will go through a blind peer-review process carried out by international reviewers. At least three reviewers will review each abstract. 

Abstract selection 

Abstracts can be selected for oral presentation in a session or as a poster in the poster exhibition. 

Notification of acceptance or rejection to corresponding author 

Notification of acceptance or rejection will be sent to the submitting (corresponding) author by the end of April. Please note that only the corresponding author will receive an email concerning the abstract; this author is responsible for informing all co-authors of the status of the abstract. Authors whose abstracts have been accepted will receive instructions for the presentation of their abstract. 

Rule of two 

Each presenting author may present a maximum of two abstracts at the conference. The number of submissions is, however, not limited. Should an author have more than two abstracts accepted for presentation, a co-author must be named as presenting author for one or more abstracts. 

Each presenting author may also present one latebreaker abstract at the conference. 

Publication of accepted abstracts

The submission of the abstracts constitutes the authors’ consent for publication. If the abstract is accepted, the authors agree that their abstracts are published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence. The licence allows third parties to share the published work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it for any purposes, under the condition that IAS 2021 and authors are given credit and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this licence are made clear. Authors retain the copyright of their abstracts, with first publication rights granted to the IAS. 

Accepted abstracts may, therefore, be published on IAS websites and in publications, such as the IAS 2021 online conference programme and other conference materials, the IAS abstract archive and the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS). 

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