The success of IAS 2023 depends heavily on volunteers!
IAS 2023, the 12th IAS Conference on HIV Science, will invite about 250 volunteers to take part in the Volunteer Programme for the in-person component of the conference in Brisbane, Australia, from 23 to 26 July 2023.
The success of IAS 2023 depends heavily on you!
Volunteers help coordinate programme activities, greet visiting delegates, assist with registration, act as guides during the conference, staff various offices and activities, and perform other crucial tasks.
The IAS 2023 Volunteer team will provide training and support before the start of the event.
For the time and effort they dedicate to the IAS 2023 Volunteer Programme, volunteers will receive:
Free in-person access to conference sessions when not on duty
Lunch each working day
A certificate of appreciation
A free one-year IAS membership
A few words from Julia, volunteer from Brazil
I was two years old when I attended my first conference, the XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona in 2002. My dad and I accompanied my mom, an HIV researcher who went to every AIDS Conference. My dad stayed with me when she attended sessions. When I was 10 years old, my dad volunteered for the first time at AIDS 2010 in Vienna. To me, that was inspiring: to work for a cause you believe in and to do it with the brightest energy. In 2015, my mother passed away, and in the grief of losing a loved one, we decided that continuing her legacy and doing our duty as volunteers would be what honoured her the most.
So, at AIDS 2016 in Durban, my sixth conference, I volunteered for the first time with my dad. After that, I couldn’t wait for the next one. The opportunity to meet and get to know people from all around the world and being involved with the most enthusiastic and inspiring volunteers was definitely the best experience of my life. We also volunteered together at IAS 2017 in Paris, AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam and IAS 2019 in Mexico City. We can’t express how much the organizers, delegates and especially the volunteers have changed our lives and continue to do so.
A few words from Joyce, volunteer from South Africa
My first experience as a volunteer was at AIDS 2016 in Durban in my home country. As a peer educator and teacher attending the South African AIDS Conference in 2015, I saw the need to volunteer to learn about new developments.
I was impressed by the number of volunteers from around the globe who are so passionate about making a change in other people’s lives. As a volunteer, you gain a lot of knowledge by attending sessions before or after your shift. Volunteering also benefits people connected to volunteers as we become more confident about engaging in issues on HIV without fear of discrimination.
I also volunteered at AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam and IAS 2019 in Mexico City. At first in Mexico City, I was scared because of the language barrier and because I was the only South African volunteer, but the love, respect and assistance I have received from fellow volunteers have been beyond my expectations.
In 2018, I even planned my trip so I could attend pre-conference sessions before the main conference.
As a volunteer, I have found new friends who have become part of my family. I strongly recommend that you join the Volunteer Programme.
A few words from Brooke, volunteer from the US
I remember the first time I heard of an acquaintance who died because of AIDS. It was in 1981. He was a psychiatric technician at a state hospital for the developmentally disabled. He had previously been an Ice Capades dancer. Back then, this condition wasn’t even called AIDS. It was called GRID, which means gay-related immune deficiency. All that people knew back then was that it was a terrible disease that was killing gay men. In September 1982, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) started calling it AIDS. Through the years, I have come into contact with HIV and AIDS in many places, with many friends – both survivors and those who succumbed – and in many contexts. My husband and I rode bicycles from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money for AIDS services in California. We served in the Peace Corps in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, during the height of an AIDS denialist president and also during the introduction of antiretroviral medication to eastern, central, western and southern Africa. I have been visiting a trans woman living with HIV, an asylum seeker from El Salvador, who is being held at a detention centre outside San Diego, California.
I have seen the sadness, despair, fear, trauma, stigma and death caused by AIDS. But I have also started witnessing the seeds of hope – when treatment started saving lives, when transmission from mother to child has been practically eliminated from this world, when harm reduction strategies help prevent the spread of AIDS in marginalized communities, and when scientific progress is made.
Being a part of the AIDS community as a volunteer at the International AIDS Conferences and IAS Conferences on HIV Science gives me hope for the future. I started volunteering as a session room monitor in Washington DC in 2012. Since then, I have volunteered in Melbourne (2014), Durban (2016), Amsterdam (2018) and Mexico City (2019). This event has become a home for me, and the people I meet up with year after year have become a family. The scientific advances, activism and progress have become a beacon of hope.
The most powerful positive impact of the conference for me is meeting so many wonderful young people who are becoming doctors, researchers, social workers, therapists and other professionals who will be on the front lines to tackle and eliminate this epidemic. It is their enthusiasm and spirit that keeps me coming back. Please come and join us as a volunteer. You will not regret it!