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.

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.

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.

Martin Delaney Presentation

The Martin Delaney Presentation honors the pioneering HIV/AIDS activist Martin Delaney (1945-2009) and is held annually during the workshops for New Investigators, International Investigators, and Community Educators in. It recognizes the important contributions of community advocacy and engagement to research.

Preconference Workshops

Educational workshops are presented before the opening session on the first day of CROI. Recent workshops include:

  • Program Committee Workshop for New Investigators and Trainees: Directed toward new trainees (eg, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and physician fellows) and new investigators (both international and domestic). This workshop is typically held in the morning with no other sessions running concurrently, and is open to all attendees. The workshop content includes the current state-of-the-art of selected areas of HIV basic and clinical research, as well as an overview of the major themes to be presented at CROI
  • Clinical Trial Design and Analysis: Directed toward clinicians and scientists who are interested in designing or interpreting clinical and epidemiological studies
  • Frontiers in Laboratory Science: Directed toward investigators and clinicians interested in learning about technological and conceptual developments in life sciences that are influencing HIV research or hold significant potential for research
  • Interactive Case-Based Workshop on Hepatitis: Directed toward persons interested in the management of hepatitis virus
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 the selection of relevant topics and excellent speakers is particularly important.


Two-hour Symposia comprise 2 conveners and 3 to 4 faculty members presenting talks on appointed topics. Symposia are scheduled on each day of CROI (typically from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM). Speakers are provided 20 to 23 minutes to present and 5 minutes for questions and answers.

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. Several Oral Abstract Sessions are held concurrently each day of CROI, 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. For more information, see the Oral Abstract Presenters page.

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 (generally from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM), to allow attendees to view posters. 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 posters will be available for viewing throughout the conference in the poster hall an in an electronic format on the CROI website and mobile app (access is restricted to registered CROI attendees during the conference). For more information, see the Poster Presenters page.

Themed Discussions

Select Poster Abstracts will be merged into Themed Discussions, each lasting 1 hour. Topics will be selected by the Program Committee, who will choose 4 to 5 Poster Abstracts to represent each topic. Several 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. For more information, see the Themed Discussion Presenters page.

Late Breakers

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