Local Abstract Mentoring Program

The AIDS 2020 Local Abstract Mentoring Program (AIDS 2020 L-AMP) is a service offered by the AIDS 2020 Local Planning Group consisting of free interactive mentoring for local organizations and individuals who wish to submit an abstract and present their work at the conference.

Local professionals will be paired with local volunteer academic partners to help raise the voices and experiences of our community at the conference.

Accepted applicants will be paired with a local researcher and will receive free consultation, guidance, and abstract drafting tips for the opportunity to showcase your work on an international stage. Collaborate with other researchers for joint submittals. Engage in mutual learning with researcher collaborators.

Apply for the program by sending an email to:
by Friday, December 6th.  The L-AMP is open to all Bay Area organizations, CBOs, NGOs, government and/or clinic partners.

The Local Planning Group Steering Committee, Scientific Engagement Working Group, and the Community Access and Engagement Working Group.

Questions? Contact the L-AMP program OR APPLY by emailing

Local Planning Group Meeting – Canceled

We will not be holding a Local Planning Group meeting in November after all, but watch for an email update coming soon!

Town Hall Meetings

Our second set of Town Halls will be taking place on Thursday, November 7th from 5PM to 7PM in San Francisco and Saturday, November 9th from 12PM to 2PM in Oakland.

The program will address how to support key populations in our communities in abstract submission, scholarship application and conference participation. We will also have a panel discussion on the current State of the Epidemic in the Bay Area followed by a Q&A session.

The AIDS2020 Town Halls are open to the public. They are an opportunity for anyone with questions or concerns about the 23rd International AIDS Conference taking place in San Francisco and Oakland in July 2020 to learn more about conference structure, history, and planning.

RSVP under the Events tab:


We are currently seeking to hire a Project Associate to help support and coordinate all our activities. The ideal candidate has experience working across multiple timelines and tight deadlines, has a background in public health, political and/or social advocacy and event planning experience. This would be a part-time contract position that transitions from 25 hours per week to 35 hours in the weeks leading up to AIDS 2020. Click on the link below to read the full job description.

AIDS2020 LPG Project Associate JD

Local Planning Group Meeting

Our next meeting of the AIDS 2020 Local Planning Group will be held in Oakland on Friday, August 23rd at the City of Refuge in Oakland. We will share updates from the Steering Committee and all our working groups. Representatives from IAS will also be on hand to answer questions.

Parking and entrance are at the rear of the building. Bus #73 and #45 are the best public transport options.

RSVP here!

Town Hall Meetings

The AIDS2020 Town Halls are open to the public. They are an opportunity for anyone with questions or concerns about the 23rd International AIDS Conference taking place in San Francisco and Oakland in July 2020 to learn more about conference structure, history, and planning.

There will also be information on ways one can get involved in local conference related activities. Two additional town halls in each city will be hosted in the year leading up to the conference.

The first Oakland Town Hall is taking place on Wednesday, July 10th, and the first San Francisco Town Hall is taking place on Saturday, July 13th.

RSVP under the Events tab:

Local Planning Group Meeting

Our next meeting of the AIDS 2020 Local Planning Group will be held in San Francisco on Friday, May 17th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. At this meeting we will share updates from the Steering Committee and all our working groups.

This meeting will be held in the Google Community Space on the Embarcadero. *Please note that the entrance to the space is on Steuart Street.

Please RSVP here if you plan to come and invite your colleagues as well.

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

International Indigenous Working Group on HIV & AIDS

Blog post:

March 19, 2019
Reflections on National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Examining Inequities in the Global Response to HIV/AIDS
By Trevor Stratton, Coordinator for the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV & AIDS for the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network

Growing up as a member of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation near Toronto, Canada, I was a first-hand witness to how the disparities in HIV/AIDS health care impact Indigenous communities. My story, unfortunately, was not an uncommon one: I learned in 1990 that I was HIV positive, and years later that it had progressed to AIDS. I was forced to face my own fears and stigma associated with acquiring HIV during the height of the epidemic. Thankfully, through the support of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN), I realized that I didn’t need to confront this journey alone and I could still live a normal, healthy and purposeful life. That’s when I decided to take action and join forces with CAAN to provide support to others living with HIV/AIDS and advocate for equitable and culturally-sensitive care for this resilient yet underserved population.

When population size is taken into account, the Indigenous population ranks fourth in the US, among ethnicities, in rates of HIV/AIDS. To understand the complexities associated with HIV in the Indigenous population, it’s necessary to consider the Indigenous Peoples’ long history of mistrust towards health and social services stemming from colonialism, displacement, systemic violence and racism, which continue to this day. With about 560 federally-recognized Indigenous tribes who speak more than 170 languages, cultural diversity presents a challenge in HIV prevention. Continued downward pressure on the determinants of Indigenous health has resulted in poverty, multi-generational trauma and high rates of alcohol and drug use contributing to the prevalent rates of HIV in our communities. Aggravating the problem, stigma and racism continue to restrict Indigenous Peoples’ essential access to culturally-appropriate treatment, care and support.

I am proud to be a member of the Conference Coordinating Committee for the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020), enabling the voice of diverse Indigenous communities to be heard. AIDS 2020 is the largest gathering in the world for HIV/AIDS professionals and will take place in San Francisco and Oakland in July 2020.

Indigenous healthcare needs to be front and center in the national conversation, yet to this day it remains painfully ignored. The conference represents an opportunity to stand together with the Indigenous Peoples as a community in the fight against the epidemic. There, we will address the obstacles to reducing HIV disparities and enhancing the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples. We will explore ways to improve access to HIV services, provide comprehensive prevention information and resources and offer health care services delivered by members of the Indigenous community. We will work to prioritize the accurate representation of Indigenous Peoples in epidemiological data and clinical research. At the core of the HIV response is the right to healthcare for every person, including our Indigenous communities.

All narratives, expertise and experiences must be considered as we move closer to zero new HIV/AIDS cases and ultimately, a cure. In fact, AIDS 2020 is being held on sacred Indigenous lands. During the conference we will welcome delegates to a ceremony honoring the land, an added opportunity to shine a bright light on the Indigenous experience with HIV/AIDS and our role in ending the epidemic. We know how far we have come, and after AIDS 2020, we will have a better understanding of where we still need to go.

Link to site

Save the Date!

Our next AIDS 2020 Local Planning Group Meeting will be held in San Francisco on Friday, May 17th. Location details TBD.


Local Planning Group Co-Chairs Elected

The Steering Committee is excited to announce the election of Larkin Callaghan and Rob Newells as Co-Chairs of the AIDS 2020 Local Planning Group. Both of these individuals bring expertise, experience and commitment to local communities to their roles. We look forward to growing and realizing our vision for local activities surrounding this conference under their leadership.

Dr. Larkin Callaghan

As the director of communications and partnerships for the AIDS Research Institute, Dr. Callaghan oversees media, messaging, and translational research communications for the HIV enterprise at UCSF; relationships with community, city, and state partners; and partnerships with external governing and research bodies. Her experience encompasses work in academia, non-profits, and NGOs.

Previously managing director of the UCSF-Gladstone Center for AIDS Research, director of global health education and training programs and professor of research methods at Stanford, and associate research scientist at ICAP, she has launched multilateral research-clinical partnership projects with foreign governments and federal agencies, negotiated financial and policy partnerships, and directed implementation, communications, and evaluation in over 20 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and SE Asia.

Rev. Rob Newells

Rev. Rob Newells is an Associate Minister at the Imani Community Church and has served as Executive Director for AIDS Project of the East Bay since 2015. He is an Oakland, California, native and United States Marine Corps veteran.

 Rev. Rob is a contributing author to the book Struggling in Good Faith: LGBTQI Inclusion from 13 American Religious Perspectives for which he penned the chapter on “The Black Church.”

Rev. Rob was a 2011 Fellow of the Black AIDS Institute’s African American HIV University Community Mobilization College and has been a biomedical HIV prevention research advocate with AVAC since 2012. He currently serves as Co-Chair for the AIDS 2020 Local Planning Group and as Community Advisory Board Co-Chair for the AmfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research.