Making increased participation of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) region in AIDS2018 a reality

AFEW International with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs implements a range of activities to empower CBOs, NGOs, activists, policy makers, stakeholders, researchers and clinicians from Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA)[1] region to take part in the XXII International AIDS Conference 2018 in Amsterdam (AIDS2018), 23-27 July 2018.

With this communication, we would like to inform clinicians, researchers, and other medical practitioners from EECA region about opportunities AFEW International makes available in support of participation in the Conference AIDS2018.

Why AFEW is taking effort to support EECA to participate in AIDS2018?

International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health or development issue. It provides a unique forum for the intersection of science and advocacy, and an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmer to ensure an evidence-based response to the epidemic, and stimulates political and financial commitments to AIDS. It gathers thousands of delegates from all over the world, and in 2018 the AIDS conference will have a spotlight at EECA region. International AIDS Society (IAS) and Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs have declared a specific goal to increase participation of this region in order to address persistent challenges of EECA region in its AIDS response. EECA is the only region in the world where the HIV epidemic continued to rise rapidly.

There are several barriers for the delegates from EECA region in their participation in the AIDS conferences: lack of skills on scientific writing and abstract development, costs of participation, language barrier. As a result of these barriers, the delegates from EECA region are disproportionally underrepresented at the AIDS conferences since its start.

To change this situation AFEW International provides support to potential delegates from EECA region.

There are several strategies to support delegates from EECA region to meaningfully participate in AIDS2018.

  1. Abstract writing module available in Russian and English.

An Abstract writing module is developed by Health[e]Foundation in collaboration with the International AIDS Society (IAS) – the organizer of the AIDS conferences, and written by editors of the Journal of the International AIDS Society, an open-access platform for essential and innovative HIV/AIDS research. It is available for everybody in English and translated into Russian by AFEW International.

This module presents information on the general requirements and considerations regarding abstract writing and convey an understanding of the criteria used in the selection process. An English version of the Module is a requirement for the IAS Abstract Mentor Programme for AIDS 2018 which is a program created to support delegates from all around the world in developing high quality abstracts.

  1. EECA Abstract Panel Review Board.

AFEW International, Eurasian Harm Reduction Association and Amsterdam Youth Force have joined forces to organize a Panel Review Board to specifically provide support to the abstract applicants from the EECA region. This panel is made up of professionals with an academic background in public health science, medical sociology, medicine, law, policy, human rights and other HIV related fields. This panel will be launched on 1st of December 2017 and provide scientists, clinicians and community activists from key populations from EECA region with feedback and constructive criticism on their abstract proposals before submitting them to the AIDS2018 conference. The support will be tailor-made, may include in-person communication and can be provided in both Russian and English. Language support – translation into professional English and English editing – will be provided for limited number of abstract applicants. Please follow us here and here for announcements on this opportunity.

  1. Online training on abstract writing.

In the beginning of November 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine, AFEW International has conducted a training on community based participatory research and abstract writing. This training was steamed live, and records as well as hand outs and presentations are available in Russian here:

Abstract writing: structure, review criteria, submission tips

Good abstract title

On the road to AIDS2018: practical guide

Presentations and handouts (downloadable, please scroll down)

If you want to receive English presentations and handouts, please refer to the email address below.

  1. Extra scholarship fund.

To address an issue of participation costs AFEW International is raising funds to extend the regular IAS scholarship fund to secure better representation of the EECA region at AIDS2018. IAS distributes around 1000 scholarships for delegates from around the world to attend. Out of this amount less than 100 scholarships goes to delegates of the EECA region. Our ambitious goal is to raise funds for 50 additional delegates from EECA region – in particular clinicians and researchers – to the AIDS2018. These extra scholarships will be processed by the IAS, therefore we strongly encourage all delegates from EECA to apply for scholarships through the official AIDS2018 site. The submission of scholarship application opens on 1st December 2017 and will close on 5th February 2018.

  1. Translation into Russian at the AIDS2018.

AFEW International is working on mentorship program for EECA delegates with Dutch volunteers who speak Russian language, and collaborates with IAS on securing funds for official translation of the penal sessions and relevant parallel sessions, to ensure that Russian speaking delegates with limited commands in English can meaningfully participate in the conference.

We strongly encourage all community activists, clinicians, researchers, and other medical practitioners to consider taking part in AIDS2018 to get their work in the spotlight of the international AIDS community!

You can follow us on http://www.afew.org/aids2018eeca/ and https://www.facebook.com/AFEWInternational/ for all the updates on the available recourses and opportunities.

AFEW International team

aids2018@afew.nl ▪ +31(0)206381718 ▪ +31(0) 657758270 ▪ Van Diemenstraat 48 ▪ 1013 NH Amsterdam ▪ www.afew.orghttps://www.facebook.com/AFEWInternational/ ▪ Twitter: @AFEW_Int; @Aids2018EECA

[1] EECA region in which we operate includes the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan