Key Takeaways Share-Net Preparatory Meeting AIDS 2018

Posted by Kimberley Meijers on April 29, 2017 at 10:01 am

On March 7, Share-Net Netherlands organized a preparatory meeting for the International AIDS Conference 2018 to be held from July 23-27 in the RAI in Amsterdam. Between 18,000 and 20,000 participants are expected to attend!

Interested Share-Net members and beyond came together to hear about the preparations for this important event and to know who are the actors, what is being done, what can we do as NGOs, research institutes and universities.

The following people joined to explain and engaged in the discussion:

  • Monique Middelhoff, Senior HIV and Health Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and member of the Conference Coordinating Committee (CCC). She introduced to us to the organisation, the representatives and important data. She also spoke about the need to involve the EU, Eastern-Europe and Central Asia (EECA) more into the topic of HIV/AIDS and AIDS 2018.

You can find the Presentation of Monique Middelhoff here.

  • Liselotte Zoetmulder, AIDS 2018 Project Manager, spoke about the background of the International AIDS Conferences.

You can find the Presentation of Liselotte Zoetmulder here.

  • Louise van Deth, Aids Fonds and Local/Regional Community and Leadership Programme Committee Co-chair and CCC member shared her ideas on what is important to focus on.

You can find the Presentation of Louise van Deth here.

  • Peter van Rooijen, chair of the Amsterdam Planning Group, explained about the key players in the Netherlands in the preparatory process and their activities.

You can find the Presentation of Peter van Rooijen here.

Key Takeaways – What you can do!

Youth Participation
Youth Participation is key to a successful AIDS 2018 conference.

  • AIDS 2018 invites organizations to assist them in identifying Youth Speakers, Youth Advocates, Youth Ambassadors (all up to 24) and Young Researchers (up to 35) who could be of value to the conference. Make sure to clearly indicate the added value of each person you put forward.
  • Think along in ways and take initiative to support Nadiia Dubchak (Teenergizer from Ukraine) as representative in the Conference Coordinating Committee (CCC).
  • Make yourself available for a Twinning/Coaching Relationship with a Young Person attending (and presenting) at AIDS 2018

Financial Support
Limited funds are available for (partial) scholarships.

Organizations are invited to:

  • Financially support (young) persons including key populations to attend the AIDS 2018
  • Localize funds to make AIDS 2018 accessible to more (young) people including key populations
  • Think along in opportunities to create Sponsor Packages for Youth Participation to increase Private Sector Involvement.
  • Get foreign embassies in LMIC involved to sponsor local (young) persons to attend the conference

Involvement of Dutch Ministries
Up to now only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely involved in preparations for AIDS 2018.

Organizations were asked to:

  • Use their networks at other Dutch ministries and governmental bodies to increase their involvement. You can think of the Ministry of Health, Education, Culture and the RIVM. Please put forward AIDS 2018 the next time you meet with any of their representatives!

Involvement of Religious Leaders
Religious Leaders are important stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS, also when looking at Eastern Europe and Central Asia. They should be included in linking, learning and dialogue on how to introduce, implement and advocate for effective aids responses.

Organizations (for instance Prisma, ICCO, Cordaid etc.) are invited to:

  • Share their contacts with religious leaders and include them effectively in AIDS 2018.

Making AIDS 2018 Green
HIVOS indicated to be interested in working together with the CCC  and other interested organizations to make AIDS 2018 more sustainable and carbon neutral.

Space for Philanthropy
Philanthropy will be part of the AIDS 2018 programme. How to continue engaging donors and how to engage new donors are important and relevant topics. However speakers and participants agreed that it would be too late to wait until AIDS 2018 to have this discussion and move forward.

Affiliated Events
Besides official pre-conferences and side-events, organizations are welcome to organize affiliated events which can be shared and promoted through AIDS 2018. However, these events should not class with the official conference programme (opening, plenary sessions, closing etc.).

City Approach
Several ideas were opted to involve Amsterdam and its inhabitants in AIDS 2018. Access to the Global Village will be free of charge.

Organizations are invited to:

  • Share their ideas on how to connect AIDS 2018 to Amsterdam.

Translation to Russian
There is no money available to hire professional translators for every sessions. Hopefully it is possible to have the opening/closing and plenary sessions translated to Russian. No official decision has been made about the second language of the conference. For certain sessions it might be smart to organize a voluntary translator.

Organizations are invited to:

  • Look for voluntary translators. For instance students studying Russian. Or for instance provide some scholarships to persons who want to attend and willing to translate.

Dutch Booth
Dutch organizations could think about joining forces again and organize the Dutch Holland House Booth at AIDS 2018.

Organizations are invited to:

  • Discuss within their organizations if they would like to be part of such an initiative.

Elton John
Anyone knows how to get in contact with Elton John for the Red Ribbon Concert? Organizations are invited to share their contact!

Enthusiastic about participating in AIDS 2018?

Any ideas you have you can share with Sabrine via

Next Preparatory Meeting

Next Preparation Meeting will be organized by Share-Net Netherlands in September 2017.

In the meantime, please share your ideas and what you are doing also with Share-Net. You can send this to and we will make sure it will be shared with relevant persons.

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