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AIDS 2024, the 25th International AIDS Conference

Regulating the promotion of prescription drugs

In 2018, many countries began implementing regulations governing pharmaceutical advertising. These regulations prohibit the promotion of prescription-only medicines or products to the general public. To say it another way, pharmaceutical advertising is only permitted for healthcare providers and pharmaceutical industry professionals.

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What this means for delegates and the registration process

The conferences organized by IAS – the International AIDS Society – attract a multidisciplinary and international audience, and the IAS complies with national, European and international laws regulating the marketing of prescription drugs.

To do this, the IAS asks all conference delegates to declare their professional status during the registration process in accordance with the IAS Data Privacy Policy. Delegates are then grouped into three categories: healthcare professional (HCP); non-healthcare professional (non-HCP); or industry representative.

The definitions for each category are as follows:

Healthcare professional

Any person who is of the medical, dental, pharmacy or nursing professions or any other person who, in the course of their professional activities, may prescribe, purchase, supply, recommend or administer a medicinal product. This includes any official or employee of a government agency or other organization (whether in the public or private sector) who may prescribe, purchase, supply or administer medicinal products, and any employee of a company whose primary focus is healthcare.

Industry representative

Any person who is part of pharmaceutical company staff (including agency staff and technical contractors supporting promotional activities on the virtual conference platform) other than healthcare professionals employed by a pharmaceutical company.

Non-healthcare professional

Any person who is not qualified as a healthcare professional or industry representative as per the above definitions (including wholesalers or distributors of medicinal products, healthcare client organization representatives and media).

For in-person participants, the category you select during registration is indicated on your delegate badge. Clearly identifying healthcare providers and industry representatives enables pharmaceutical sponsors to easily determine to whom they can promote prescription medicines. The IAS does not accept any liability for the accuracy of the status printed on the delegate’s conference name badge.

If you wish to modify your category, please contact us at

What this means for satellite, pre-conference and exhibition content and information

Due to our multidisciplinary audience, in accordance with mandatory national, European and international regulations, the IAS does not allow any advertising or promotion of prescription-only medicines or products in satellite symposia, pre-conferences and the exhibition or exhibition booths, held in person, virtually or in a hybrid format. All satellite symposia, pre-conference and exhibition content and information available to conference participants must not promote any prescription-only medicines or products. It is the full responsibility of the exhibitor, the satellite and pre-conference organizers to ensure that all content and information available to conference participants, and all of their staff, contractors or agencies they work with, fully comply with any applicable regulations and regulatory frameworks governing prescription advertising.

Advertising medicinal products in Germany

AIDS 2024, the 25th International AIDS Conference, takes place in Munich, Germany, and virtually. According to the German law on advertising medicinal products, Heilmittelwerbegesetz (HWG):

  • Prescription medicines may be advertised only to doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists and people who legally trade in these medicines (paragraph 10 of HWG).
  • Other medical procedures, treatments and products are subject to advertising restrictions (paragraph 11 of HWG).

The complete HWG is available on the website of the Bundesministerium der Justiz (in German).

You can find the more detailed, voluntary transparency code on the website of FSA, Verein Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle für die Arzneimittelindustrie.

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The IAS promotes the use of non-stigmatizing, people-first language. The translations are all automated in the interest of making our content as widely accessible as possible. Regretfully, they may not always adhere to the people-first language of the original version.