In the context of IAS 2021 – the 11th IAS Conference on HIV Science an abstract is a standalone statement that briefly explains the essential information of a study, research project, policy or programme. 

IAS 2021 welcomes the submission of abstracts for original contribution 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 

Abstract submissions are open from 15 December 2020 to 10 February 2021, 23:59 Central European Time. During this period, abstracts will be accepted through the online submission form available on the conference website.  

Detailed descriptions of the scope and objectives of each scientific track, as defined by the IAS 2021 Scientific Programme Committee, can be found on the IAS 2021 website.

The deadline to submit abstracts is 10 February 2021, 23:59 Central European Time.

Abstracts are intended to present scientific studies, research, programmes and policies, highlighting both the methods and/or description and results and/or recommendations. If you are describing a study that is still in the planning stage, it would not be suitable for submission unless the method that you use is, for example, of particular scientific interest. However, if your study is currently ongoing and you only have preliminary data that seems relevant or significant, please submit the abstract.

Latebreaker submissions must introduce data of unquestioned significance. Data analysed after the regular submission deadline (10 February 2021) should not be sent in as late breakers if the data do not meet an extremely high threshold of scientific merit. The percentage of abstracts selected for late breakers will depend on the number of submissions, but selection will certainly be more rigorous than for regular abstracts. A small number of latebreaker abstracts will be accepted to be presented orally or as posters at the conference.  

During their abstract submission, authors will have to declare the reason why their abstract is 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 latebreaker abstract submission will be open from 1 to 15 April 2021.  


An abstract consists of a title, author list and abstract text no longer than 350 words. It can also include tables or graphs and/or images. Literature references should not be included.  

 IAS 2021 offers two options for abstract submission:
Option 1 

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 the findings and/or outcomes of your study for HIV prevention, treatment, care and/or support and future implications of the results. 

 Option 2
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. 

Before submitting an abstract, you are asked to create a conference account. One or several abstracts can be submitted through the conference account. 

To submit abstracts, please log in to your conference account and click on the “Abstract submission” box on the conference account overview page. Then click on the red button, “Submit an abstract”. In the abstract submission system: 

  1. Select the track, category and country of research. Enter your abstract title and text. 
  2. Enter the presenting author and co-authors (individually). 
  3. Preview your abstract and check format and correctness. 
  4. Submit your abstract. 

To navigate the abstract submission system, please use the “Next step” buttons or the upper menu bar. For detailed instructions about the abstract submission system, please click on “HELP” in the upper menu bar. 

After an abstract has been created, modifications can be made at any time until the submission deadline. After submission, the abstract submitter will receive a confirmation email with an abstract reference number. Please refer to this reference number in all conference correspondence. 

A tutorial on how to submit an abstract is available on the IAS 2021 website.  

After an abstract has been submitted via the conference account, modifications can be made until the submission deadline, 10 February 2021. After making your modifications, you need to resubmit your abstract. No modifications will be accepted after 10 February 2021.  

A good abstract title is short, specific, representative and informative. It helps the reviewers categorize your abstract and, if accepted, it may help conference delegates find your presentation. The title should summarize your abstract without going into excessive details. Describe the topic clearly, including, for example, the population, country and issue of the research. Titles are limited to 30 words.

It is permitted but not mandatory to include tables or graphs and/or images in the abstract. A maximum of two tables, 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). As a reminder, the abstract text body is limited to 350 words.  

Please create your table or upload your graph or image following the instructions in the abstract submission system. Place the table or graph or image into your abstract text and save the changes. Review the abstract preview page to ensure that your table, graph and/or image displays properly.  


There is no limit to the number of co-authors per abstract, although we strongly recommend the use of a study group name for abstracts with a high number of co-authors. A person can be listed as a co-author if they meet ALL the following criteria: 

  1.  Made substantial contributions to concept and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data 
  2. Drafted the abstract or revised it for intellectual content 
  3. Approved the final version to be submitted. 

If the abstract is accepted, the presenting authors are asked to disclose all financial and personal relationships between themselves and others that might be perceived by others as biasing their work. The conference organizer asks that all presenting authors disclose any conflict of interest at the time of presentation for the benefit of conference delegates. The purpose of this is to guarantee that all potential conflicts of interest are recognized and mechanisms to resolve them prior to the conference are implemented.  

Material presented in abstracts should 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. 

All submitted abstracts will go through a blind peer-review process carried out by international reviewers. Each abstract will be reviewed by at least three reviewers. The IAS 2021 Scientific Programme Committee makes the final selection of abstracts to be included in the conference programme.  
The highest-scoring abstracts will be selected for presentation in an oral abstract session. The majority of the posters will be displayed in the poster exhibition.

The methodology or study design presented in your abstract should be appropriate to address the purpose and objectives. Results or lessons learned should be clearly presented and support the conclusions. In addition, the findings should contribute to the advancement of knowledge and development in the field.

If English is not your native language, we strongly recommend that you have your abstract reviewed by a native English speaker working in your field before submission.

You may check the common reasons for abstract rejection in the abstract submission guidelines.

You may also review examples of abstracts from previous conferences. If you need additional support, the Abstract Mentor Programme offers free, expert feedback to young or less experienced researchers interested in submitting an abstract for IAS 2021. The programme is open from 20 November 2020 to 25 January 2021. Find out more by visiting the AMP webpage. 


Notification of acceptance or rejection will be sent to the submitting (corresponding) author by the end of April.

To obtain a certificate for abstracts accepted, please contact [email protected].

The submission of the abstract constitutes the authors’ consent to publish. If the abstract is accepted, the authors agree that their abstract can be 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 the 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.

An electronic abstract book will be available free of charge on the conference website. 

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

The International AIDS Society (IAS) Abstract Mentor Programme (AMP) is for less experienced and early-career abstract submitters who plan to submit an abstract to International AIDS or IAS conferences. Introduced at the 15th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2004), the objective of the AMP is to help less experienced submitters improve the quality of their abstract writing.

The AMP aims to provide submitters with a better opportunity of having their abstracts accepted as either oral or abstract presentations. Over the years, the AMP has proven to increase the motivation of early career researchers, as well as the number of abstract submissions from resource-limited countries. The AIDS 2020 AMP received 225 unique draft abstracts. From the draft abstracts that received online mentoring and were submitted for this conference, 30% were accepted into the abstract conference programme, among which 4 as oral abstract presentations.

Individuals interested in becoming a mentor can sign-up from 16 November 2020 to 25 January 2021 through their conference profile.

Individuals who seek mentor support can submit abstracts from 30 November 2020 to 25 January 2021 through their conference profile.

The IAS offers this programme to support professional development for young and less experienced HIV researchers. The programme enables these groups to submit higher quality abstracts, which increases the chance of them being accepted into the conference programme. The aim is to build capacity for a new generation of young researchers and increases the diversity of speakers and presenters at the conference.

The AMP is open to everyone with a proficient level of English and who has completed the IAS Scientific Writing [e]Education course.

Yes, we welcome public health professionals with experience in HIV research who have had at least two abstracts accepted to an international conference and who have co-authored at least one manuscript accepted by a peer-reviewed scientific journal within the last five years.

Join the team!

Yes, and each participant can make up to 2 submissions.

No, neither mentors nor mentees need to be registered for the conference to participate in the AMP.

You can ask mentors questions on practical issues, such as writing clarity and abstract requirements, as well as any methodological or scientific questions that may arise from the abstract content. Their answers should guide subsequent edits and improvements to the abstract before you officially submit it to the conference.

Here are some examples of previously asked questions:

  • Is my introduction extensive enough?
  • Are my conclusions clear and well supported by the data?
  • Have I described the method well enough?
  • What part of the abstract could I edit to shorten the text?
  • Would a graph or table be useful?
  • What other conclusions/lessons learned should I include?

Note: mentors do not write, translate or make changes to the draft abstract on your behalf.

Mentors will not answer questions related to:

  • Whether or not s/he thinks your abstract will be accepted to the conference
  • Grammar issues
  • Other conference programmes such as scholarships

We match your abstract with a mentor specialized in your field of research and you will receive feedback within 10 working days.

Mentors review abstracts based on guidelines and provide feedback within 10 working days, at the latest by 25 January 2021 (excluding the end of the year holidays period: 24 December 2020 to 1 January 2021).

Yes. Abstracts submitted to IAS 2021 must be written in English so the AMP is also only available in English.

No, mentoring is completely independent of the abstract review and selection process. Once you have finalized your abstract you need to submit it to the conference through your conference profile.

Please consult the online abstract writing module, developed by JIAS in collaboration with Health[e]Foundation, to help you develop your abstract.

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