FAQs

Visa and access

  • Note, if you have not yet applied for a visa it is too late to begin the application process and have a visa approved in time to attend the conference.
  • The IAS has repeatedly communicated to the Canadian government the urgency of reviewing and approving visa applications submitted by people wishing to attend AIDS 2022. We will continue to do so at the highest level and will continue to share updates here.
  • AIDS 2022 is accessible virtually from anywhere in the world. It is our first-ever fully hybrid conference. That means it is being held in person, and in addition, all sessions can be attended virtually: live and on demand. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we have invested in and have constantly improved our virtual platform to ensure that virtual participants can access an engaging and dynamic conference experience.
  • To help cover registration and travel costs, the IAS commits 15% of the conference budget towards supporting scholarships. We have provided more than 1,600 scholarships to attend AIDS 2022 virtually and/or in person, with priority given to individuals from lower-income countries.
  • There are discounts for young people and anyone from low- and middle-income countries. Those rates start at USD 140, reduced from the full rate of USD 900 for attendees from high-income countries.
  • All AIDS 2022 content will be publicly available online two months after the conference at no cost (one month for IAS Members).
  • The IAS hosts up to six regional meetings in low- and middle-income countries each year, entirely free, to share the latest science from our or other international conferences.
  • Information regarding Canadian immigration is available here.
  • Visa delays and denied visas are an urgent concern and affect our ability to host a conference that is truly inclusive and representative of the communities most affected by HIV. The conference organizing committee has escalated its concerns to the highest levels and are doing everything we can to ensure that as many people who wish to attend AIDS 2022 are able to do so.
  • Squaring the demands of a safe, large venue while enabling global attendance can present a dilemma that the IAS is acutely aware of. Here are some of the aspects the IAS looked at when opting for Montreal:
    • Health and safety: Many of our attendees are immunocompromised or work closely with immunocompromised communities. A requirement of the host city is to work with us to ensure high health and safety protocols for all delegates, staff and speakers.
    • Venue: The International AIDS Conference is the largest HIV conference in the world, and finding a city with a large enough available venue presents a challenge and limits the search process.
    • Human rights: The IAS works closely with the host city and venue to ensure the safe and equal treatment of key populations, including the LGBTQ+ community, people living with HIV, sex workers and people who inject drugs.
    • Canada: Canada is a globally recognized leader in health and safety in pandemic response and a leader in the global HIV response.

Unfortunately, many applicants – who paid for their registration to attend AIDS 2022 in person, applied for their visas in time, and had an official conference invitation letter – have had their visas denied.

To support our friends and colleagues, many from low- and middle-income countries, to attend the conference, the IAS is providing flexibility for registration changes for AIDS 2022. If your visa was denied, you may choose to:

  • Change your registration from in person plus virtual to virtual for no additional fee and the difference will be refunded free of charge.
  • Request a full reimbursement.

To change your registration from in person plus virtual to virtual:

Please email [email protected] on or before 22 July 2022. This option offers you complete and online access to all conference sessions live and on demand, as well as a ~20% refund depending on your registration category.

To request a full reimbursement:

Please review the criteria below to confirm your eligibility. You must:

  • Submit proof that you applied for your visa on or before the recommended application deadline – 5 May 2022 – and that your visa was denied.
    • The reason for denial must not be due to incomplete or inaccurate information.
  • Apply for reimbursement by 2 August 2022 at 11:59 EST. Reimbursement requests after this date will not be accepted.

If you are eligible for reimbursement, please email [email protected]. A link to the request form where you can upload your documents will be shared. Please note that by selecting this option, you forfeit online access to all conference sessions, both live and on demand.

Registration reimbursements are subject to a USD 65 handling fee and will be processed within 30 working days.

Unfortunately, we are not able to reimburse any of the additional costs that may have been incurred related to your in-person registration, such as visa processing fees, accommodation or flight bookings. If you booked accommodation through our official booking system, we recommend that you cancel the rooms as soon as possible to avoid further cancellation charges.

If you were denied a visa and changed your registration status prior to IAS changing the AIDS 2022 registration policy, you may still choose to receive a full reimbursement, rather than attend the conference virtually, depending on eligibility.

Please review the criteria below to confirm your eligibility. You must:

  • Submit proof that you applied for your visa on or before the recommended application deadline – 5 May 2022 – and that your visa was denied.
    • The reason for denial must not be due to incomplete or inaccurate information.
  • Apply for reimbursement by 2 August 2022 at 11:59 CET. Reimbursement requests after this date will not be accepted.

If you are eligible for reimbursement, please email [email protected] to receive access to the request form. Please note that by selecting this option, you forfeit online access to all conference sessions, both live and on demand.

Registration reimbursements are subject to a USD 65 handling fee and will be processed within 30 days.

Unfortunately, we are not able to reimburse any of the additional costs that may have been incurred related to your in-person registration, such as visa processing fees, accommodation or flight bookings. If you booked accommodation through our official booking system, we recommend that you cancel the rooms as soon as possible to avoid further cancellation charges.

Health and safety

AIDS 2022 in-person participants are strongly encouraged to have received at least two doses of an approved vaccine. Before travelling, check whether your COVID-19 vaccination schedule is valid for entry into Canada and complete the required online form. Completion of this form must be done within 72 hours of your arrival to enter the country. Travellers who fail to use this system can face a 14-day quarantine and even a CAD 5,000 fine.

Yes. Montreal currently requires the wearing of face masks only in healthcare settings and on public transport, which includes taxis, airports and railway stations. However,  conference organizers are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all delegates, some of whom may be immunocompromised. As such, all conference attendees above the age of five years old are required to wear a mask (e.g. surgical, KN95, N95) covering their nose and mouth in the AIDS 2022 venue, except when eating or drinking. We will have masks available at the venue, but would appreciate it if delegates bring their own.

All participants are encouraged to take a COVID-19 self-test before travel and daily before attending the conference, as well as if you have symptoms. Self-tests will be available throughout the venue for delegates. Self-tests are also available in local pharmacies. Find a pharmacy near you.

Test results and temperatures will not be checked when you enter the venue. However, if you have symptoms or your self-test is positive, please isolate for five days following the test. If your symptoms get worse, please contact a local healthcare provider.

For travel-related tests, we will share detailed information on PCR test centres and cost in the pre-departure guide that all delegates registered for in-person attendance receive before the conference.

In addition to wearing face masks at the venue, we strongly encourage washing or sanitising your hands regularly. We will provide hydroalcoholic gel at the entrance of each session room and at the registration checkpoints.

This year, to avoid unnecessary crowds on the first day of the conference, we encourage you to pick up your badge during the days prior to the opening of the conference.

If you test positive for COVID-19, please inform your hotel that you must quarantine and discuss extending your stay if needed.

Federal regulations in Canada mandate a different period of self-isolation than provincial regulations. As AIDS 2022 is hosted in Montréal, Québec, the conference must adhere to provincial, rather than federal, regulations.

Quebec’s public health regulations require that you self-isolate for at least five days unless you are immunocompromised.

If you are immunocompromised, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days.

You are not required to take a PCR test in Canada. If you have symptoms or are testing as a precaution, rapid antigen and/or self-tests are valid.

PCR tests are available for priority persons – those at higher risk of severe illness. This protects the most vulnerable and helps keep critical services running.

Clinical assessment centres can test, assess and provide treatment options for COVID-19. You should visit one if you have symptoms and:

  • Are at higher risk for COVID-19 and need to get tested and assessed for treatment (including antiviral treatment)
  • Have been directed to do so by your primary care provider

You do not need to have a positive test result to visit a centre. Bring a list of your medications and a list of any important medical conditions with you.

If you develop severe symptoms requiring medical attention, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency department.

Find a clinical assessment centre

If you need to isolate because you have tested positive for COVID-19, you will still be able to participate in the conference through the virtual platform from your place of stay in Montreal. Your AIDS 2022 in-person plus virtual registration includes full access to the virtual conference platform.

If you have a speaking role at the conference, please contact your point person at the IAS to organize your virtual participation.

We recommend that before travelling to Montreal, you arrange with your local insurance company for COVID-specific insurance that will cover the extension of your stay and any additional expenses that you could have if you were to test positive for COVID-19. The IAS will not be able to cover additional expenses in case of a positive COVID-19 test.

Monkeypox is a viral disease with symptoms similar to, but less severe than, smallpox. The virus enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract or mucous membranes (for example, eyes, nose or mouth).

Monkeypox is usually a mild illness and most people recover on their own after a few weeks. However, in some situations, people may become very sick and death may occur.

People usually develop symptoms five to 21 days after being exposed to the monkeypox virus. Symptoms occur in two stages and typically last from two to four weeks.

In Stage 1, symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Fatigue

In Stage 2 of the illness, a rash develops. This is usually within one to three days (sometimes longer) of the fever starting. The rash often starts on the face or extremities. However, it can affect other parts of the body, such as the hands, feet, mouth, genitals and peri-anal areas. In most current cases, the rash presents atypically, with a rash in the anal or genital region, sometimes without a rash anywhere else and often before the fever.

The rash usually lasts between 14 and 28 days and changes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

You can be contagious from the onset of the first symptoms until the scabs have fallen off on their own and the skin is healed.

If you have symptoms, you should contact a healthcare provider and get tested for monkeypox.

Call a healthcare provider immediately if:

  • You develop symptoms of monkeypox
  • You have had contact with a known or suspected monkeypox case

If you have been diagnosed with monkeypox, you should isolate until all the scabs have fallen off and the skin has healed. Until your lesions resolve, you are still able to transmit the virus to those around you. It is recommended that you reduce close physical contact with any sexual partners, friends and family to protect them from the virus. Avoid sex until symptoms clear and use a condom for 12 weeks after recovery to protect your sexual partners.

Vigilantly check your symptoms for 21 days.

Treatment of people with monkeypox is mostly based on managing symptoms, for example, with pain relief. Various compounds that may be effective against monkeypox are being developed and tested. There are no well-established treatments for monkeypox, and there are very limited data available on the clinical effectiveness of specific treatments for monkeypox in humans. Treatments that were used for smallpox may be effective in some cases of monkeypox and are being considered on a case-by-case basis.

Prevention and control of monkeypox rely on raising awareness in communities and educating health workers to stop transmission. In the current outbreak, many of the new cases are being found in gay men and other men who have sex with men. Monkeypox can affect anyone and all responses to the outbreak should avoid stigma or blame.

Avoid close contact with people who have confirmed monkeypox or materials that have been in contact with a person with monkeypox (such as clothes and bedding). Gloves and other personal protective clothing and equipment should be worn while taking care of anyone with monkeypox, whether in a health facility or in the home.

Gatherings and events present a conducive environment for close, prolonged and frequent interactions between people. Some gatherings may lead to attendees socially interacting with people previously unknown to them. For some, these new interactions could lead to sexual activity which can play a role in the spread of the monkeypox virus.

The following precautionary measures can reduce the risk of monkeypox transmission associated with events and gatherings:

  • People with signs and symptoms consistent with monkeypox should refrain from close contact with any other individual, should avoid attending gatherings, and should follow advice issued by relevant health authorities.
  • Close contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has signs and symptoms consistent with monkeypox should be avoided.
  • Anyone who feels they may have been exposed to monkeypox should exercise additional care.
  • Information specifically designed for communities of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men is now available, including updated public health advice.

Gatherings attendees should always be reminded to apply individual-level responsibility to their decisions and actions, with the aim of preserving their health, that of the people they interact with, and ultimately that of their community.

The IAS closely monitors the current outbreak of monkeypox. The number of reported cases remains relatively low, but health authorities have noted that monkeypox is spread by close personal contact and some groups may have a greater risk of exposure. Although monkeypox has been reported mostly among gay men and other men who have sex with men in the current outbreak, anyone of any age or sexuality can get monkeypox. Health workers, household members and sexual partners of someone with monkeypox are particularly at risk.

We are aware that monkeypox can be more severe in individuals who are immunocompromised, including people living with HIV who are not on effective treatment. The IAS will continue to monitor the situation and will ensure that all health and safety protocols that the Canadian health authorities put in place at the time of the conference are observed at AIDS 2022.

Registration, travel and scholarships

Registration for AIDS 2022 is now open. Register here.

Yes. AIDS 2022 allows you to change your registration as follows:

  • If there is a change from in-person plus virtual registration to virtual registration, the difference will be refunded free of charge.
  • If there is a change from virtual registration to in-person plus virtual registration, the difference will be charged.

Read the terms and conditions here.

Should the IAS change the conference format to fully virtual, all in-person registrations will be converted to virtual registrations and the difference refunded.

Read the terms and conditions here.

Most delegates will need a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada – not both. Some delegates may need only their valid passport. 

Information regarding Canadian immigration is available here.

Yes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions on travel to Canada are currently in place.

Find out if you are eligible to travel to Canada here. This information will be updated on a regular basis as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

Yes. To ensure equitable access for people from low- and middle-income countries, the IAS is supporting in person attendance and virtual participation through an ambitious scholarship programme. This includes the provision of internet data and devices to help bridge the digital divide for people in resource-limited settings.

Scholarship applications have closed. Find out more here.

Yes. The IAS will offer a comprehensive in-person volunteer programme. Applications will open in March 2022.

Yes. A variety of hotels at different price categories will be available for conference delegates and groups to book in Montreal.

Bookings are now open. Find out more here.

Abstract and late-breaker abstract submissions are now closed.

Find out more about abstracts at AIDS 2022.

Yes. AIDS 2022 offers tailored live, semi-live and pre-recorded satellite symposia packages in Montreal and virtually.

Satellite symposia applications are now closed. Find out more about AIDS 2022 satellite symposia.

Yes. Exhibitors can choose to exhibit in person and virtually, or virtually only.

Exhibition applications are now closed. Find out more about the AIDS 2022 Exhibition.

Yes. The Global Village and Youth Programme will take place in Montreal and virtually.

Find out more here.

Yes. Workshops will take place in Montreal and virtually.

Find out more here.

Yes. Pre-conference meetings will take place on 27 and 28 July 2022.

Find out more here.

Yes. AIDS 2022 Affiliated Independent Event status means your event benefits from being visible and promoted to the large and diverse network of IAS Members and AIDS 2022 delegates.

Affiliated Independent Event applications are now closed. Find out more about events affiliated with AIDS 2022.

General

AIDS 2022 will take place in Montreal, Canada, and virtually from 29 July to 2 August 2022, with pre-conference meetings set to begin on 27 July 2022.

AIDS 2022 will be a hybrid conference, taking place in person at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montreal, Canada, as well as virtually.

The conference chairs, organizing committee and Tourisme Montréal are working closely together to design a programme that is accessible and safeguards the well-being of all.

AIDS 2022 will call on the world to come together to re-engage and follow the science. It will define future research agendas, shift latest evidence to action, and chart a new consensus on overcoming the HIV epidemic as a threat to public health and individual well-being.

AIDS 2022 will feature:

  • 100+ hybrid speaker sessions and panel debates live from Montreal and around the world
  • E-posters showcasing cutting-edge research with live in-person and on-demand presentations
  • The largest-ever scholarship programme, providing registration, travel and internet support
  • Multiple opportunities for networking and engaging in speaker Q&As
  • The Global Village and Youth Programme in Montreal and virtually
  • On-demand 24/7 access to all session recordings via the conference platform
  • In-person and virtual exhibition and daily educational workshops
  • Tailored live, semi-live and pre-recorded satellite symposia and pre-conference meeting packages hosted in Montreal and virtually

… and much, much more. Find out more here.