March 8–11, 2020


Scientific Program

Session and Presentation Types

The scientific program comprises various styles of presentations and sessions, each offering a unique opportunity to amass new and important scientific information. Descriptions of the presentation and session types appear below.

Bernard Fields Lecture

The Bernard Fields Lecture, named in tribute to the exemplary work of the esteemed microbiologist and virologist Bernard Fields, is given during the Opening Session, usually by a basic scientist recognized for his or her important and relevant contributions to the fields of virology and viral pathogenesis. The Bernard Fields Lecture will be made available for review in various formats on the CROI website.  

N'Galy-Mann Lecture

The N'Galy-Mann Lecture recognizes an HIV/AIDS researcher for his or her important and relevant work in the fields of epidemiology or clinical research. The Lecture is named in honor of Drs Bosenge N'Galy and Jonathan Mann for their crucial, pioneering work in HIV science in Africa. The N'Galy-Mann Lecture is part of the Opening Session and will be made available for review in various formats on the CROI website.

Keynote Lecture

A Keynote Lecture may also be scheduled during the Opening Session and is given by a well-known and respected individual who offers insight into any of a wide range of issues (eg, social, political, or financial matters) that affect the global HIV pandemic. The Keynote Lecture will be made available for review in various formats on the CROI website.

Martin Delaney Presentation

The Martin Delaney Presentation is held annually during the workshops for Young Investigators, International Scholars, and Community Educators in honor of pioneering HIV/AIDS activist Martin Delaney (1945-2009). It recognizes the important contributions of community advocacy and engagement to research. The Martin Delaney Presentation will be made available for review in various formats on the CROI website.

Plenary Lectures

The Plenary Lectures are a balance of clinical- and basic-science presentations given by leading authorities in the field of HIV science. There are 6 30-minute Plenary Lectures scheduled over 3 days (2 each day). Sessions will not be run parallel to the Plenary Lectures, so selection of relevant topics and excellent speakers is particularly important. Plenary Lectures will be made available for review in various formats on the CROI website.


Two-hour Symposia comprise 2 conveners and 3 to 4 faculty members presenting talks on appointed topics. 2 to 3 concurrent symposia are scheduled on each day, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Speakers are provided 20 to 23 minutes to present and 7 to 10 minutes for questions and answers. Symposia will be made available for review in various formats on the CROI website.

Scientific Overviews

Scientific Overviews provide a broad picture of a specific field, presenting the invited speaker’s work, as well as that of other investigators, when appropriate, in the vanguard of their scientific field. Scientific Overviews are allotted 25 minutes with an additional 5 minutes for questions and answers and are scheduled at the beginning or end of an Oral Abstract Session that covers related topics (30 minutes for an overview plus 6 15-minute oral abstract presentations, for a total of 2 hours).

Oral Abstract Sessions

Select abstract submissions will be presented during Oral Abstract Sessions generally lasting for 2 hours. Speakers will present their peer-reviewed research in a specific topic area, and presentations will be moderated by experts in the field. Oral Abstract Sessions allow 10 minutes for individual presentation followed by 5 minutes for questions and answers. Oral Abstract Sessions run parallel to one another and are organized by topic to avoid conflicting sessions (4 sessions are scheduled for midmorning on each day); additional Oral Abstract Sessions may be scheduled to run parallel to symposia when necessary. A Scientific Overview may be included in an Oral Abstract Session, as appropriate, or a moderator may provide a brief translational summary at the close of a session. A co-moderator will also be on hand to facilitate audience questions. Oral Abstract Sessions will be made available in various formats on the CROI website.

Poster Abstract Sessions

The majority of scientific information at CROI will be presented in the form of Poster Abstract Sessions. The poster hall will remain open throughout the conference from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, to allow attendees and presenters the opportunity to interact. Presenters of Poster Abstracts will be assigned to stand at their respective boards, organized by topic, on one of the three conference days, but all Poster Abstracts will be available for viewing the 4 full days of CROI.

Themed Discussions

Select Poster Abstracts will be merged into Themed Discussions, each lasting 1 hour. Topics will be chosen by the Program Committee, who will choose 4 to 5 Poster Abstracts to represent each topic. 4 or 5 Themed Discussions will run concurrently in the early afternoon, each conference day. A discussant will provide a 5-minute introduction outlining the state of the topic field, and then each presenter will give a brief overview of his or her Poster Abstract in 5 minutes using 5 slides (recommended) to summarize the noteworthy results, conclusions, and discussion points. Discussants will interact with audience members and presenters to create a discussion that synthesizes the relevant information, covers key points of agreement and controversy, and draws comparisons to related work in the scientific field. At the conclusion of a Themed Discussion, a discussant will provide a 5-minute summation highlighting the key information of the Poster Abstracts discussed and posing important questions for future research. It has worked well in the past to match more senior investigators with newer (or more junior) investigators in the same field. Themed Discussions will be made available in various formats on the CROI website.

Late Breakers

Vitally important information will be considered for Late-Breaker Abstract presentations. Accepted Late-Breaker Abstracts will be presented during previously scheduled Oral Abstract Sessions, as time and topic allow.