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 investigators (both international and domestic) and trainees (eg, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and physician fellows). 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 include 4 state-of-the-art talks. Symposia are scheduled on each day of CROI. 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.

Science Spotlights

CROI 2021 will include Science Spotlights® as a new format for presenting important science that is not part of a live oral abstract session. Science Spotlights® are 3- to 5-minute narrated presentations (up to 5 content slides) that focus on the research question, methodology, and key findings. These presentations will form a part of the on-demand content for CROI and will include a means for attendees to pose questions to presenters for a response.

More details are available on the Science Spotlights® page.

Interactive Sessions

Interactive and scientifically fun sessions in a mixture of lively formats such as debates, point-counterpoint discussions, brief talks with expert panel discussions, and “Rapid Fire” sessions: 4 or 5 short (5 mins) presentations by experts in the field.

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.