22nd International AIDS Conference
Amsterdam, Netherlands | 23-27 July 2018

Abstract Submission

In the context of the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018), an abstract is a stand-alone statement that briefly explains, in a non-repetitive style, the essential information of a study, research project, policy or programme.

The 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) welcomes submission of abstracts for original contribution to the field in the following scientific tracks:

  • Track A: Basic and translational research
  • Track B: Clinical research
  • Track C: Epidemiology and prevention research
  • Track D: Social and political research, law, policy and human rights
  • Track E: Implementation research, economics, systems and synergies with other health and development sectors

Abstract submissions are open from 1 December 2017 to 5 February 2018 – 23:59 Central European Time. During this time period, abstracts will be accepted through the online submission form available on the conference website.

Detailed descriptions about the scope and objectives of each scientific track, as defined by the Scientific Programme Committee, can be found on the AIDS 2018 website.

The final deadline to submit the abstract is 5 February 2018 – 23:59 Central European Time.

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

Late breaker submissions must be data of unquestioned significance. Data analyzed after the regular submission (5 February 2018) 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 late breaker abstracts will be accepted to be presented orally or as posters at the conference.

During their submission, authors will have to declare the reason why their abstract is late breaker. The same submission rules apply for the late breaker abstracts as for the regular abstracts, but each presenting author may only present one late breaker abstract at the conference. The late breaker abstract submission will be open from 19 April to 10 May 2018.

An abstract consists of a title, author list and the abstract text. It can also include tables or graphs/images. Literature references should not be included.

AIDS 2018 offers two options for abstract submission:

Option 1

Suited for research conducted in all disciplines. Abstracts submitted under the first option 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 / 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 / outcomes of the study. Please summarize any specific results.
  • Conclusions: explain the significance of your findings / outcomes of the study for HIV prevention, treatment, care and / or support, and future implications of the results.

Option 2

Suited for lessons learned through programme, project or policy implementation or management. Abstracts submitted under the second option 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 / location, the structure, key population (if applicable), 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 / 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 your findings / 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 Profile. One or several abstracts can be submitted through the Conference Profile.

To submit abstracts, please login into your Conference Profile and click on the "Abstract Submission" field in the Overview-tab. You will then see a link to enter the abstract submission system.

In the abstract submission system, please follow the steps 1 - 4 to create and submit your abstract:

  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 in 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. This email will contain the abstract reference number. Please refer to this reference number in all communications.

A tutorial on how to submit an abstract is available in the AIDS 2018 website.

After an abstract has been created via the online Conference Profile, modifications can be made (even after submission) until the deadline. After making your modifications, you need to re-submit your abstract. No modifications will be accepted after the submission deadline.

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 session. 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.

It is possible, but not mandatory, to include tables or graphs/images in the abstract.

A maximum of one table and one graph/image can be included: a graph/image (in JPG, GIF or PNG with ideally 600 dpi) can be included. These will not count toward the word limit, nor will the information about authors, institutions and study groups.

Please create your table or upload your graph/image following the instructions in the abstract submission system. Place the table or graph/image into your abstract text and save the changes. Review the abstract preview-page to ensure that your table or graph/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 he/she meets 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/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/images for both worldwide print and web publication. All reproduction costs charged by the copyright holder must be borne by the author.

All submitted abstracts will go through a blind peer-review process carried out by an international review committee. Each abstract will be reviewed by at least three reviewers. The 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 oral abstract sessions or in a slightly shorter oral poster discussion 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 AIDS 2016. The programme is open from 20 November 2017 to 15 January 2018. Find out more by visiting the AMP webpage.

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

To obtain certificates for abstracts accepted in the conference, 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 Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0). The license allows third parties to share the published work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it for any purposes, under the condition that IAS 2015 and authors are given credit, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this license 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. The traditional paper abstract book will not be produced for AIDS 2018.

Accepted abstracts may be published on IAS websites and publications, such as the AIDS 2018 Online Conference Programme and other conference materials, the IAS abstract archive, the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS), etc.

Abstract Mentor Programme

The Abstract Mentor Programme (AMP) is targeted at less experienced and early-career abstract submitters who plan to submit an abstract to the 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 been proven to increase motivation and acceptance of abstracts from developing countries and early-career researchers.

The AMP opened on 20 November 2017 and closed 15 January 2018.

The International AIDS Society offers this programme to support young and less experienced HIV researchers in their abstract writing process. The programme enables these groups to submit higher quality abstracts, which increases the chance of them being accepted into the conference programme. This in turn increases the diversity of speakers and presenters at the conference.

The AMP is open to everyone with a proficient level of English.

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 2016 AMP received 138 draft abstracts. From the draft abstracts that received online mentoring and were submitted for this conference, 30% were accepted into the conference programme.

We are glad to announce that the AIDS 2018 AMP received 309 draft abstracts. More information on the outcome of the programme will be available soon.

Yes, but each participant can make a maximum of 2 submissions.

Abstract submissions to the AMP were open from 20 November 2017 to 15 January 2018.

The AIDS 2018 Abstract Programme welcomes submission of abstracts for original contribution to the field. The deadline to submit your abstract is 5 February 2018, 23:59 CET.

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

Mentors review your abstract based on a set of guidelines and provide you with feedback within 10 working days, and at the latest by 29 January 2018 (excluding the end of the year holidays period: 24 December 2017 to 2 January 2018).

Mentors submit their feedback to the IAS Secretariat, and who then forward it to the mentee via the AMP platform. It is therefore essential that you provide a valid e-mail address when you register.

Yes, the AMP is currently only available in English.

The IAS/Health[e]Foundation e-course is now also available in Russian.

Note: all abstracts submitted to the AIDS 2018 Conference must be in English.

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

You can also ask mentors questions on practical issues, such as clarity of writing and formal requirements of the abstract, as well as any methodological or scientific questions that may arise from the abstract content. The answers will guide you to edit and make 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 may 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

Not anymore - mentors were able to sign-up until 15 January 2018.

We would like to thank all of our mentors for their meaningful contribution to the AMP.

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. This course is available in English and in Russian.

Satellite symposia

Satellite orders are placed via our IAS Satellites and Exhibition Tracker (ISET) ordering platform, which is open from 1 December 2017 to 9 April 2018. ISET offers a simple ordering process, which requires you to sign in with a login and password. The link to ISET is available on the AIDS 2018 satellites webpage from 1 December 2017.

Satellite prices are available here.

Satellite symposia are held in the conference centre and will take place all day on Monday, 23 July, and in the mornings and evenings from Tuesday, 24 July, to Friday, 27 July.

Satellites are available in a number of formats depending on length (90 or 120 minutes), type (regular or prime time) and room capacity (only a limited number of rooms are available in each capacity).

90-minute symposia take place only in the mornings (07:00-08:30) from Tuesday, 24 July, to Friday, 27 July.

120-minute regular symposia take place:

  • Monday, 23 July, at 08:00-10:00, 10:15-12:15 and 12:30-14:30
  • Thursday, 26 July, at 18:30-20:30.

120-minute prime time symposia take place:

  • Monday, 23 July, at 14:45-16:45 and 17:00-19:00
  • Tuesday, 24 and Wednesday, 25 July, at 18:30-20:30.

Satellite holders will have the following benefits:

  • Satellite symposium listing in the Pocket Programme (printed) and the online programme
  • Satellite symposium listing in the mobile app
  • A number of complimentary day passes for satellite organizers according to room capacity ordered.

Day passes include access, only on the day of your satellite, to all conference sessions, satellite symposia, the exhibition area and the poster area. If more passes are needed, additional persons have to be registered as regular conference delegates for a fee.

The number of complimentary day passes offered depends on the room capacity ordered, as follows:

  • 250 or 350 room capacity – five day passes
  • 500 room capacity – 10 day passes
  • 750+ room capacity – 15 day passes
  • Prime time satellites (regardless of room capacity) – 20 day passes.

The satellite schedule is the sole responsibility of the conference organizers; the schedule will be released at the end of April 2018.

Orders are placed on a first-come, first-served basis as there is a limited quantity of each room capacity. Room capacities are estimates and may vary by 15%, depending on final conference planning.

All session rooms are equipped with the following equipment:

  • Theatre-style audience seating
  • Lectern with microphone, laptop and mouse
  • Chairperson table with microphone(s) (two pax per microphone)
  • Session room screen to display a PowerPoint presentation (in some of the bigger session rooms, the speaker may be shown on the screen too)
  • Presentation timer
  • Microphones (wired) on stands for audience questions – amount is subject to size of session room.

It will be possible to order the following additional services for your satellite:

  • Catering
  • Additional AV equipment, including: audience response systems and lead capture devices
  • Recording
  • Hosts
  • Shipping/material handling

If you are interested in additional services, please contact the Satellites Team ([email protected]) to discuss your requirements.

You will have to provide an initial overview of your satellite symposium when you place your order on ISET. The conference organizers will then review the content of each symposium to ensure that it meets the scientific and ethical principles of the conference before providing approval.

Criteria for approval include the following:

  • Satellites should reflect and/or support the vision and goals of the conference
  • Satellites should address HIV/AIDS, co-infections or issues faced by individuals or organizations affected by or responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic
  • Satellites should reflect conference policies and goals of diversity and inclusion.

For the satellite information to be included in the online conference programme, the final description, organizer name, chair/co-chair and speaker names must be uploaded to the session planner. Further information will be communicated once the schedule is confirmed at the end of April 2018.

As well as being listed in the Pocket Programme, online conference programme and mobile app, organizers may advertise their satellite 30 minutes before the start of their satellite symposium outside the allocated room via pop-up banner (or similar).

Should organizers be interested in further distribution of promotional materials, please consult our sponsorship opportunities page here.

  • 1 December 2017: ISET opens and orders can be placed.
  • 9 April 2018: ISET closes. After this date, contact the Satellites Team ([email protected]) to discuss availability.
  • End of April 2018: Schedule released.
  • May 2018: Submission of satellite description and speakers via the session planner.


The Scholarship programme was open to everyone around the world working or volunteering in the field of HIV and AIDS and who is at least 16 years of age at the time of the conference. As per the Conference Coordinating Committee (CCC) scholarship selection criteria, priority is given to:

  • Those whose participation will help enhance their work in their own communities
  • Those who are able to assist in the transfer of skills and knowledge acquired at the conference
  • Those whose abstract, workshop or Global Village and Youth Activity has been selected.

Financial assistance is offered to delegates from resource-limited settings and communities, key and vulnerable populations, people living with HIV, young people, researchers and students to help them attend the conference.

Additional scholarships were available to clinicians and HIV service providers from resource-limited settings, through the IAS Educational Fund.

Applicants were able to request all or some of the following aspects of the scholarship to attend AIDS 2018:

  • Conference registration fee (includes access to all sessions and exhibitions)
  • Travel (pre-paid airfare at the lowest fare available, from the nearest international airport)
  • Accommodation (shared room in a budget hotel for the days of the conference only)
  • Modest daily living allowance for the conference duration (23-27 July 2018)

Please note that the level of support requested may not be the level of support granted. Full scholarships are only awarded in a limited number of cases.

In all cases individuals will be required to cover the cost of their hotel incidental expenses, meals, visa applications and any other expenses.

The early-bird registration fee is extended for two weeks after the Scholarship Programme notification to all unsuccessful scholarship applicants who submitted a complete scholarship application.

Additional support for attendance to AIDS 2018 pre-conferences (taking place on 21 and/or 22 July 2018) may be granted to recipients selected by pre-conference organizers. This includes support for attendance to STI 2018 and TB 2018.

Scholarship allocations for abstract presenters, workshop facilitators or Global Village and Youth activity organizers are evaluated based on the quality of the submission.  

The scholarship is connected to the submission, not to the individual. Consequently, if the presenting author, facilitator or organizer changes, the scholarship is cancelled, unless a request is made to transfer the grant to the new presenting author, facilitator or organizer. In case the new presenting author, facilitator or organizer has already incurred costs for travel, accommodation or registration, these will not be reimbursed by the scholarship programme.

The deadline to request a scholarship transfer is 1 June 2018.

Please note that the acceptance of your abstract, workshop or Global Village and Youth activity does not guarantee you a scholarship. Therefore, you are strongly recommended to seek alternative funding.

Yes, it is possible to request a scholarship through the late breaker abstract submission system (from 19 April to 10 May 2018). During the submission, you will be asked whether you need a financial support or not. You may request all or some of these four options: conference registration fee, travel, accommodation, modest daily living allowance.

The rules of scholarships connected to a submission also apply to late breaker abstracts presenting authors. The deadline to request a scholarship transfer for late breaker abstracts is 15 June 2018.

More information on late breaker abstract submission is available on the submission guidelines.

For technical questions regarding the abstract submission system, please contact the abstract support team at [email protected].

Global Village and Youth Programme

The Global Village is a diverse and vibrant space where communities from all over the world gather to meet, share and learn from each other. It intersects the main conference programme, blending scientific sessions with cultural activities, live performances, networking zones, NGO booths, marketplace booths, and art exhibits. Here, communities can demonstrate the application of science and good leadership, and conference participants are invited to see how science translates into community action and intervention.

The Global Village and Youth Programme is created from public applications from a diverse range of individuals, groups and organizations for a variety of activities. It is open to the general public and conference delegates, and admission is free.

Young people will play an active role in all aspects of AIDS 2018. The Youth Programme will include a variety of activities designed for and by young people, including cultural and educational performances, presentations, workshops and panel discussions. The Youth Pavilion within the Global Village will host most of the youth-related activities and will provide spaces for young people to network, collaborate and showcase achievements from around the world.

While the dedicated Youth Programme is aimed at providing a platform for young people to participate in youth-specific activities at the conference, another key objective is to promote the value of intergenerational exchange between older and younger populations of people involved in the global response to HIV. In this way, we encourage all young participants to engage in all parts of the conference programme, as well as youth-specific activities.

More information on this topic will be available soon.

Travel and accommodation expenses must be covered by organizers themselves.

AIDS 2018 Global Village and Youth Programme activity main organizers who need financial assistance to attend the conference are encouraged to apply for the AIDS 2018 Scholarship Programme. A limited number of scholarships are available; therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to seek other/additional funding sources. If any of the Global Village and Youth Programme activity co-organizers also require financial assistance, they should submit a separate scholarship application.

Visit the AIDS 2018 Scholarship page for more information. Applications for the Scholarship Programme close on 1 February 2018.

There are no funds available to cover transporting materials or set-up costs. Shipment of goods, as well as the setting up of activities, is at the expense of the activity organizer(s). Advice on shipping will be provided once successful applicants accept their invitation to run their activity in the Global Village and Youth Programme at AIDS 2018.

A successful Global Village and Youth Programme application does not guarantee access to the whole conference programme. Successful applicants will need to register online to access the conference. Please check the conference website for more information on the registration process. The Global Village space is open and free of cost to conference delegates and the general public.

This depends on the type of activity. You will find details regarding sizes of activity areas in the application form for Global Village and Youth Programme activities and in the Global Village and Youth Programme submission guidelines.

The Global Village is a space to present activities from communities worldwide. With the exception of marketplace booths, it is not a fundraising event. It is, however, a great opportunity to get in touch with donors and leaders, to network and to exchange experiences.

Selection criteria are described in the Global Village and Youth Programme submission guidelines.

All proposals submitted for the Global Village and Youth Programme will be reviewed by a team of nominated reviewers who will score applications based on a blind scoring system. The programme activity reviewers are your peers: people living with HIV, scientists, activists, policymakers, healthcare workers, community activists, educators and other people who work in areas relating to HIV. Following the review period, the Global Village and Youth Programme Working Group will meet with staff from the IAS to finalize the programme for all Global Village and Youth Programme-related activities.

Notifications will be circulated to successful and unsuccessful applicants by the end of April 2018.

At AIDS 2018, the Global Village will be located in Hall 5 and the Amtrium of the RAI Amsterdam, covering more than 8,000 square metres.


General questions

All meetings that are part of the official 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) pre-conference programme will be held in the main conference venue at the RAI Amsterdam on Saturday, 21 July, and Sunday, 22 July, preceding the opening ceremony of AIDS 2018 on Monday, 23 July.

International AIDS Conference organizers are only involved in streamlining the logistics of the pre-conferences. All pre-conference participation management, speaker invitations, programming and agendas are strictly independently managed by the pre-conference meeting organizers.

Pre-conferences are open and either require sign-up or are walk-in. For pre-conferences that require sign-up, organizers manage this process through their own systems. Links to sign up for these pre-conferences can be found above the event description. Participants must receive confirmation from the pre-conference organizer to guarantee their participation in the pre-conference. Walk-in pre-conferences do not require sign-up for the event and seating is first come first served. Interested participants can sign up to a mailing list to receive updates.
There is no limit to how many pre-conferences you can attend. You need to either be registered for AIDS 2018 or purchase a day pass to access the RAI conference venue. Pre-conferences are open and either require sign-up or are walk-in. If you are interested in attending a pre-conference that requires sign-up, please use the links provided above each pre-conference description.


Anyone registered for AIDS 2018 can attend pre-conference meetings. Those who are not planning to attend the main conference can purchase a day pass in the conference registration area at the RAI.

Please note that pre-conferences are open and either require sign-up or are walk-in. For walk-in events, you are encouraged to arrive at least 15 minutes early to secure a seat. For events that require sign-up, this process is managed by each individual organizer. Please use the links provided to sign up.

If you are not attending the main conference, you must purchase a day pass at the registration area at the RAI. Day passes cannot be purchased in advance, but will be readily available on site. If you want to attend a pre-conference that requires sign-up, please register via the links provided here. Please note that for sign-up-required pre-conferences, you must receive confirmation from the event organizer to guarantee participation in that pre-conference.

Sign-up is available until capacity is reached for each event. At that time, pre-conference sign-up will close and the website will be updated reflecting that capacity has been reached.

Day pass and registration fees

The day pass gives access to the RAI conference centre on the date indicated on the pass.

Scholarships and financial support

If the AIDS 2018 Scholarship Programme supports a recipient’s travel to the conference, arrival and departure days can be arranged to ensure pre-conference attendance. Recipients are responsible for any accommodation and meals outside of the days of the official AIDS 2018 conference (23-27 July).

The AIDS 2018 Scholarship Programme supports costs related to the main conference (23-27 July), meaning that accommodation and per diem (if awarded) covers the week of the conference (accommodation from Sunday to Saturday and per diem from Monday to Friday).

Scholarship recipients who are awarded AIDS 2018 registration can access the venue during the pre-conference days. The scholarship programme does not award day passes.

If you have further questions, please contact [email protected].

Some pre-conferences may provide supplementary scholarships. Please contact pre-conference organizers directly to enquire if these are available for the meeting you want to attend.


All official AIDS 2018 pre-conferences will be held in the main conference venue, the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre.

There is no conference-specific transportation organized for AIDS 2018. However, Amsterdam has a very good public transportation system that we encourage delegates to use.

Harm reductions services

Travelling to Amsterdam

You can carry medication, such as buprenorphine and methadone, when entering the Netherlands. If you live in a country in the Schengen zone, you need a “Schengen certificate”. Under the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement, private persons wishing to travel within the Schengen Area and carry narcotic drugs and/or psychotropic substances must have a certificate proving that these are necessary for their medical treatment. The Schengen member states are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Application procedures for the certificate in the Schengen countries differ.

If you are from outside the Schengen zone, you will need a medical certificate drawn up in English and which is valid for one year. Ask the doctor who prescribed your medicines to draw up and sign a medical certificate. Legalize the certificate according to the regulations in your own country. When you travel to the Netherlands, keep your medicines in their original packaging. This makes it clear to customs that the drugs are medicines, not illegal drugs. It is preferable to have the drugs in your hand luggage (in case your baggage gets lost).

In Amsterdam

Should you intend to use drugs during your stay in the Netherlands, please read this flyer to find information about the drug policy in the Netherlands to understand the local laws and regulations in regard to drug use.

Please also be aware that the quality of the drugs in the Netherlands might be different to what you are used to in your own country. Please read this flyer to ensure that you use as safely as possible. In case of an overdose or other kind of emergency, please call 112 immediately.

Amsterdam has various harm reduction services for people who use drugs. This includes opioid substitution treatment (OST), heroin substitution programmes, needle and syringe programmes and drug consumption rooms (DCRs). These services are mostly available only for Dutch residents.

In the Netherlands, methadone (tablets) and buprenorphine (which also contains naloxone) are available.

In the Netherlands, naloxone is available only as an injection solution, in ampoules of 1ml. Only physicians and nurses can administer naloxone. There are no naloxone kits or nasal sprays.

Local people on OST: feel free to bring your own medication.

Foreign people on OST: it is preferable to bring your own medication. Local doctors can possibly prescribe medication to people with a letter from their therapist with the dosage of the OST and the exact period of stay in Amsterdam.

Foreign people who use drugs but have no OST: local doctors can prescribe a low dose of methadone so that no major withdrawal symptoms occur. There are risks associated with it.

Amsterdam has a number of DCRs, which offer the opportunity to use drugs in a safe and hygienic environment. However, these DCRs have strict regulations and cannot welcome visitors to the conference. This means that there is no access to the official DCRs in Amsterdam for conference visitors.

At the conference

In case of an overdose, you or a friend not feeling well, or any other calamity: call 112 immediately.

In accordance with the Good Samaritan laws, you will not be prosecuted for seeking assistance. Be honest about your own or a friend’s drug use; this will make it easier for medical professionals to help.

All medical rooms (first aid stations) at the conference venue will have full resuscitation capabilities, with advanced life support paramedics and on-site ambulances. Please refer to the information desk at the conference venue or the floor plan in the pocket programme to locate the medical rooms.

Harm Reduction Networking Zone and needle and syringe programme
At the conference, a Harm Reduction Networking Zone (HRNZ) is located in the Global Village and is accessible to the general public (delegates and non-delegates). The HRNZ is the key area for people who use drugs or people who want to know more about it. This is also the space to access or to get more information about medical services for people who use drugs. Services that will be provided include:

  • Information and guidance from harm reduction experts
  • The free provision of drug-using and injecting equipment
  • Sharps containers for the safe disposal of equipment for drug use
  • Information and advice about overdose prevention and care
  • Condom provision
  • A range of publications on harm reduction in relation to safe drug use (overdose and infection prevention).

Doctor available for people who use drugs
On the first floor of the Global Village, in Room L101 (next to the film screening area), a doctor will be available from Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 12:00 for medical services and information specifically for people who use drugs.

Yes, there will be needle and syringe provisions at the conference, in the Harm Reduction Networking Zone.

For additional information: [email protected]