General and late-breaking abstracts should present new research in HIV infection, other emerging viral infections such as hepatitis C virus, or SARS-CoV-2. The Scientific Program Committee and external reviewers review and score submissions. Abstracts are selected on the basis of their medical and scientific significance, timeliness, quality of data and methodology, and adherence to specific format requirements described below. As always, the best and most consequential original research will define the science at CROI 2021, March 6 to 10. Abstracts that have not been published or presented at a large HIV or SARS-CoV-2 conference prior to CROI in March will be eligible for inclusion at CROI, the world’s foremost conference of its kind.  

General Abstract Submission Open

General abstract submission is open. Log in or create an account on the Abstract Submission system to submit an abstract for CROI 2021. Please review the abstract guidelines on this page before submitting an abstract.

Important Dates

  • General abstract and scholarship application submission begins: October 22, 2020, 5:00 PM Pacific Time
  • Deadline for submitting general abstracts and scholarships: December 1, 2020, 5:00 PM Pacific Time
  • General abstract and scholarship dispositions sent by email: January 15, 2021
  • Late-breaking abstract submission opens: January 15, 2021, 9:00 AM Pacific Time
  • Deadline for submitting late-breaking abstracts: February 4, 2021, 5:00 PM Pacific Time
  • Late-breaking abstract disposition sent by email: February 16, 2021

Visit the Important Dates page for information about other important milestones for CROI 2021.

Late-Breaking Abstract Submission

Data analyzed after the general abstract submission deadline should not be submitted as a late-breaker unless they meet a high threshold of scientific merit. The percentage of late-breaking abstracts selected for presentation will depend on the number of submissions, but the selection criteria are more rigorous than for general abstracts.

Late-breaking abstract submission opens January 15, 2021. A link to the submission site will be posted here when submission opens.

Abstract Submission Status

The submission status of an abstract can be confirmed on the Submissions page accessed through the Dashboard of the abstract submission site (see figure below). Please check the submission status through the abstract submission site.

CROI Conference - Abstract Submission Status2

Abstract Content

CROI abstracts include the following elements: title, author names with professional affiliations, background, methods, results, conclusions, and may also include 1 table or figure (optional). In addition, the submitting author must provide the following information: the abstract category, 2 to 5 keywords, whether the abstract has been previously published or presented. Finally, the abstract submitter must agree to abstract submission requirements (eg, the presenting author will present the abstract in the format designated by the CROI Program Committee; all coauthors have reviewed and approved the content of the abstract and their inclusion in the list of authors). These elements are described further below.

Character Allowances

Section headings (ie, Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions), are not included in the abstract body character count. Do not include these headings in the body of the submitted text. Please use the counters on the abstract submission page to track the character count. Character limits are as follows:

  • Title: Up to 85 characters, including spaces.
  • Body: Up to 2500 characters, cumulative, including spaces.
  • Tables: The suggested maximum size is 8 columns x 12 rows; table characters are not included in the cumulative character count.

The abstract title should be concise and clearly convey the subject of the abstract. Titles should be submitted in all upper case letters.



Requirements for Authorship: Authors listed in the abstract should conform to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for authorship:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be submitted; AND
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved

See: ICMJE Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors

Author Listing: Up to 15 authors may be included on each abstract, (including a research team or group, if applicable). To include the name of a research team or group as the 15th author, follow the instructions on the abstract submission form. Please do not enter individual coauthor in the research group field (they will be deleted).

Author Affiliations: Indicate each author’s professional affiliation by selecting the institution from the list provided in the abstract submission system. The list may be filtered beginning with the first word of the institution name. In general, the list does not use abbreviations for institutions, although there are some exceptions (eg, CDC, US CDC, NIH, CHU, and INSERM are used as abbreviations). Department names and school names are not used unless they are part of the institution name (eg, San Francisco Department of Public Health).

Research Collaborators: Individuals who are not listed as coauthors on an abstract may be considered research collaborators if they contributed substantively and measurably to the scientific development or execution of the project. Research collaborators should meet most of the same authorship criteria described the ICMJE recommendations above. Research collaborators will have access to early registration for CROI (along with accepted abstract authors).

Abstract Sections

The body of a CROI abstract is divided into 4 sections: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Text submitted should one paragraph per section and should not include the section headings within the text. The headers will be added by the abstract submission system so they will not be counted toward the character limit.


Briefly and clearly describe the hypothesis of the study. Why was the study conducted?


Detail the experimental methods and processes employed in the study. What did was done?


Describe the precise findings of the study; promises of results “to be determined” are not acceptable. Describe what was found and include data.


Describe logically sound conclusions and reliable inferences drawn from the study results. Why are the study’s findings important?

Table or Figure

Each abstract may contain 1 table or 1 figure. Characters and labels within a table or figure do not count toward the character limit for abstract content. If the uploaded image includes more than 1 figure or table, it will not be included with the final abstract.

  • To add a table: Create the table in a word processing program (eg, MS Word) and save it as an image (.jpg, .gif, or .png). Use the Image or Table upload utility within the abstract system to upload the image of the table
  • To add a figure: Save an image of the figure (.gif, .jpg, or .png file) and upload it during the abstract submission process. The image must be legible at the maximum printed size of 4 inches x 6 inches with an either vertical or horizontal orientation.

Special Notes on Abstract Content

Trade Names

Trade names for drugs should not be used in abstracts. Refer to drugs by their nonproprietary names.

Statements of Support

Statements of grant support or funding statements may not be included in the abstract text (eg, Study was funded by NIH). Statements of support may be included in the presentation of the abstract at CROI, if accepted.

Abstracts Describing Clinical Trials

Presentations from randomized trials and cohorts should follow the ICMJE guidelines, including reporting of study designs, (eg, prospective, observational, randomized, double-blind, STROBE, CONSORT, or others), statistical methods, and outcomes by demographic variables. See: ICMJE Preparing for Submission.

Of particular note, please consider whether there is substantive evidence of differences in effect by sex or other key demographic groups. If so, a stratified analysis should be made available during the presentation of the abstract at CROI. Please also note whether the study is ongoing or completed and whether the results are preliminary or final.

Abstracts Describing New Compounds

Please be sure to include information sufficient to allow for meaningful review of compound data; this may include isolation, activity, chemical structure, mechanism of action, toxic effects, and pharmacologic data. The chemical or molecular structure must be shown in the presentation (it need not be part of the abstract or be published in the abstract eBook).

Case Reports and Systematic Reviews

In general, CROI does not accept abstracts for case reports, meta-analyses, or systematic reviews unless they are of enormous public health significance.

Additional Required Information

Previous Submission, Publication, or Presentation of Data or Abstract

In general, CROI does not accept work that has been previously published or publicly presented, or that is scheduled to be published or presented prior to CROI. Consideration may be given to a previously presented submission if meaningful newer data or different analyses are included, or if the prior or anticipated presentation was or will be at a conference not focused on HIV- or SARS-CoV-2-related topics.

If study data have been published, submitted for publication, or previously presented at another major HIV- or SARS-CoV-2-related national or international scientific or medical conference (ie, generally more than 400 attendees), the abstract submitter will be asked to provide the following details during submission: the name and date (or anticipated date) of the publication or conference presentation, and whether anyone holds the copyright on those data. Abstract text that is under copyright by a publication or another conference should not be submitted to CROI.

If study data are accepted for publication or presentation after the abstract submission to CROI, and that publication or presentation is expected to take place before CROI, the presenting author must contact the conference manager at to provide details as soon as the presentation is accepted for review, presentation, or publication in another venue or outlet. Please be aware that, while publication in these circumstances will not necessarily prevent presentation of the research at CROI, our strong preference is that any additional publication or presentation happens either simultaneous to or following presentation at CROI. Requests to publish or present research accepted for presentation at CROI prior to its presentation at CROI will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Failure to notify the conference promptly regarding plans to publish or present a CROI-accepted abstract prior to CROI may result in the removal of the study from the conference program.


Choose from the established list of CROI topic categories. Categories are used to assign each abstract to the review team whose expertise matches that of the abstract’s subject matter. Please keep in mind that, on review of the abstract, the Scientific Program Committee and external reviewers may elect to assign an abstract to a category deemed more appropriate. See Categories and Definitions.


Two keywords are required; up to 5 are allowed. Keywords should be chosen from the standard list whenever possible, but if a desired keyword is not found in the CROI keyword database, free text may be entered. In general, a keyword is a single word. Complex terms should be simplified into a single word or entered as separate keywords (eg, breast milk transmission should be entered as separate keywords “breast milk” and “transmission”).

Confirmation of Abstract Submitter Responsibilities

The person who submits an abstract must affirm the following on behalf of the presenting author. Failure to comply to these policies may result in the withdrawal of the presentation from CROI.

  • If accepted, the presenting author will present the abstract by the format designated by the CROI Program Committee (eg, oral or Science Spotlights® presentation) and be present for the session(s) to which they are the presenting author
  • ALL coauthors have reviewed and approved the abstract’s content.
  • Financial relationships with commercial entities have been disclosed for the presenting author, the presenting author’s spouse or partner, and institution (to themselves or to their institution on their behalf). If the new presenter is designated after disposition, financial disclosures of the new presenting author must be provided
  • If the designated presenting author is unable to present the abstract at CROI, a new presenter from among the coauthors listed on the abstract will be designated. The new presenter must provide a disclosure of financial relationships with commercial entities for self, spouse or partner, and institution
  • Complete and accurate contact and affiliation information for ALL coauthors and correct email addresses have been provided
  • Permission is given for the presentation to be videotaped and/or recorded and the abstract to be published in the Abstract eBook, CROI website, Topics in Antiviral Medicine (for eventual listing in the National Library of Medicine), and other related conference materials
  • If accepted as a poster presentation, an electronic version of the poster will be provided
  • If an abstract is accepted, the presenting author will register for the conference and reserve a room at one of the conference hotels via the CROI housing and registration system

Failure to live up to these responsibilities may, at the discretion of the Program Committee Chairs, subject all authors to penalties, including a ban on registration at future CROI.

Changes in Presenting Author

The author noted as the presenting author on an abstract is responsible for giving the presentation if the abstract is accepted. In case of an emergency, an alternate may take the presenting author’s place. The new presenting author must update the abstract submission to disclose information for his or herself, his or her spouse or partner, and institution. The new presenter must be listed as a co-author on the abstract and must be registered and accepted for attendance at CROI.

Disclosure of Financial Relationships

The abstract submitter is responsible for the disclosure of financial relationships with commercial entities for the following:

  • Presenting author
  • Spouse or partner of the presenting author
  • Grants to the presenting author, spouse, or partner paid to their institution
  • New presenting author (if applicable), including spouse or partner and institution

See ACCME definition of commercial interest for more information.

Abstract Review and Notice of Disposition

Each abstract is reviewed and scored independently by 5 to 10 experts in the particular field. The review of abstracts begins immediately after the submission deadline. Therefore, changes to abstracts are not possible after the submission deadline.

The disposition of each abstract will be sent via email to the abstract submitter and all authors listed on the abstract submission form. Accurate professional email addresses for the presenting author and all coauthors is required for this purpose.

Common Reasons Abstracts Are Not Accepted for Presentation

Because of the number of abstract submissions, the CROI Program Committee is unable to provide feedback on individual submissions. Below are common reasons why abstracts are not accepted for presentation.

  • Subject matter is not appropriate for CROI
  • All coauthors have not approved the abstract prior to submission
  • Information is not novel (new enough)
  • Abstract is duplicative of other submissions
  • Format does not follow guidelines (eg, data missing, more than 1 table or figure submitted)
  • Submission is poorly written and difficult to understand
  • Background does not summarize the hypothesis
  • Methodology is inadequate or insufficient to support conclusions
  • Controls are absent or inadequate
  • Statistical evaluation is inadequate or absent
  • Summary of essential results is inadequate or absent
  • Data are not included or offer inadequate/insufficient support for conclusions
  • Submission reports clinical trial data from unplanned analysis or incomplete or ongoing studies


By submitting an abstract to the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), authors are transferring all copyright ownership of the abstract, including all rights incidental thereto, to the CROI Foundation in the event that the abstract is accepted and published by the CROI Foundation. For US federal employees, work conducted on an abstract while the author(s) were employed by the US federal government is not protected by the Copyright Act and there is no copyright, thus ownership cannot be transferred. The contents of CROI conference materials are protected by copyright. Permission to replicate or reproduce any part of a CROI abstract must be obtained from the CROI Conference Manager, the International Antiviral Society-USA (IAS-USA); however, study data are the property of the author(s) and study sponsors as relevant. For more information, please email