AIDS 2022 Volunteer Programme

Applications are now open! Join us for this great opportunity.

AIDS 2022, the 24th International AIDS Conference, will invite about 350 volunteers to take part in the Volunteer Programme for the in-person component of the conference in Montreal, Canada, from 29 July to 2 August 2022. The success of AIDS 2022 depends heavily on you!

Volunteers are selected based on a demonstrated interest in learning about HIV- and AIDS-related issues, sharing experiences and being inspired by people from different backgrounds or gaining international experience.

Conference volunteers are true stars as not only do they contribute heavily to the spirit and success of the International AIDS conferences, they do so without remuneration or financial support. We appreciate you!

Please be aware that there are several videos circulating that promise guaranteed visas and request payment for services. This information is false. As a volunteer, you are required to make your own visa, travel, and accommodation arrangements for Montreal.

Volunteers’ roles

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.

Training and support from the AIDS 2022 volunteer coordinators will be provided before the start of the event.

Volunteers’ benefits

For the time and effort they dedicate to the AIDS 2022 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

Eligibility

To apply, volunteers must be:

  • 18 years old or older
  • Available for at least four half-day shifts on four consecutive days during the conference period
  • Available for the mandatory kick-off meeting, activity training and venue walkthrough which will take place on Tuesday, 26 July from 15:00 to 18:00 at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal.
  • Read and accept the AIDS 2022 Volunteer Policy and share the IAS Values.

Selection and confirmation process

Applicants will be asked to detail their availability and activity preferences when filling in the AIDS 2022 Volunteer Programme application form.

  • From March to early July, the AIDS 2022 Volunteer Programme team will review all applications on a first-come, first-served basis. We therefore invite anyone interested in volunteering to apply as soon as possible.
  • Priority will be given to applicants with maximum availability throughout the conference period.
  • The information on the form will help the AIDS 2022 Volunteer Programme team schedule volunteers in the roles they are most interested in and where their skills will be used most effectively, but we cannot guarantee that we can accommodate your preference.
  • If selected, the volunteer applicant will receive a proposal and be invited to confirm the schedule and activity proposed within 10 days.
  • If the volunteer declines the proposed schedule, the activity and declined schedule will immediately be released to other volunteer applicants. The AIDS 2022 Volunteer Programme team does not guarantee that a second proposal can be made.

The AIDS 2022 Volunteer Programme team has sole discretion in accepting or rejecting applications. Please note that if an application does not satisfy all selection criteria, the AIDS 2022 Volunteer Programme team reserves the right to keep the application status on hold and make a decision at a later stage.

Applications via email are not accepted.

Travel to Canada

Before submitting your volunteer application, please check your eligibity and visa requirements to travel to Canada on our immigration page.

If you need to apply for a visa, we strongly encourage you to apply as soon as you receive a schedule proposal from us. If this applies to you, we will ask that you keep us posted on your visa status and confirm your schedule proposal only once your visa has been granted.

Please note, it is the sole responsibility of each volunteer to make their own visa, accommodation and travel arrangements. The IAS is unable to provide financial support to volunteers, nor reimbursements or refunds.

Together we can do so much!

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 AIDS 2022 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 sub-Saharan 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 frontlines 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!

Contact and questions

If you have any questions, please contact the AIDS 2022 Volunteer Programme team at [email protected].