July 7th, 2013

Almost Annual Whine About No CROI Dates, and a New Temporary (I Hope) CROI Website

Believe or not, sometimes we know a year in advance the dates of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).

For example, we learned at the beginning of CROI 2010 that in 2011, it would take place February 27-March 3 — in Boston no less. Yay!

(The meeting was a bit shorter, but it did in fact start on Feb 27.)

But most of the time, “When is CROI next year?” is a free-floating mystery, one that can’t be solved until a surprisingly short time before the actual meeting.

We know that CROI will be in the winter, probably in February or March, and that abstracts will be due some time in the fall. Plus we know CROI will be held someplace in North America, though of course the location is far less important for planning academic and personal calendars than knowing the dates.

Because of this uncertainty, those of us who want to attend the meeting go through aggressive calendar-managing in order to avoid important conflicts. In what is now an annual two-month blockade, here are some typical approaches to events in February and March:

  • Thinking about attending on the inpatient clinical service during those months? Bad idea.
  • Want to go on a family vacation? Reconsider.
  • Invited to speak in a medical school or postgraduate course, or to give medical grand rounds? Think again.
  • Want to get married, or to adopt a puppy, or to sign up for that adult ed class on using power tools? Better wait until April.

When I try to explain this odd state of affairs to my non-ID colleagues, they are invariably perplexed, or say something naive like “Why don’t you check the conference website?”

That should be a good idea, so let’s do that. The conference website — retroconference.org — is in fact excellent, with a rapid search feature for abstracts, posters, and many terrific web casts.

That is, it was excellent — the site no longer works. In its place, we have this:


For the record, I have long assumed that we don’t know when CROI will be because the conference organizers don’t know yet either. (When I directly ask them, this is what they say — “We don’t know yet.”)

But if someone does know, and they’re hiding it — as in this example or this one — perhaps Edward Snowden can leak it when he lands in Bolivia, or Venezuela, or wherever he ends up.

7 Responses to “Almost Annual Whine About No CROI Dates, and a New Temporary (I Hope) CROI Website”

  1. Carlos del Rio says:

    I agree, always a mystery (almost as much as finding who the Pope will be but the white smoke takes longer to come out). This year much more complicated but I would recommend people go to the “new conference website” where the location and dates will be announced “pronto”… (or, as we say in Spanish “al ratito” which basically means soon but when we feel like doing it). The website is: http://www.croi2014.org/

  2. Karin Klngman says:

    And the CROI people don’t know when their web site will be back on line, so we can search and read abstracts or see presentations-I emailed them. Highly inconvenient. I was preparing a presentation and had to use blogs and other postings to get the abstract info I wanted. Not good if you want to review a topic or see something a bit obscure not covered in the “blogosphere.” One wonders why the CROI people did this.

  3. Henning Drechsler says:

    P L E A S E bring the CROI website back !

  4. Emily Shafer says:

    In my 7+ years of covering medical meetings for a variety of specialties, CROI is the only meeting whose dates and location are not announced at least a year in advance. It drives me nuts!! I’m glad it’s not just me.

  5. cynthia says:

    Oh my goodness – this made me laugh out loud!

    I don’t even ever go – am married to someone who does though.

    I stumbled across your website because I’m always looking for the CROI dates and get so frustrated that my beloved husband NEVER can tell me the dates.

    I would add to your list that spouses may be equally hamstrung…..I need to know when I can be on call, when I can travel etc since we have little kids…..huge ripple effect.

    thanks for a good chuckle! I’ll be checking back to see if you know the dates first!

  6. Pamela says:

    Thanks for making the world of ID entertaining.
    I just tried to access the CROI site to look up abstracts from the 2013 conference and believe it or not i get this “This site is currently unavailable.” What has happened to the site? I actually just emailed the info email account to find out. I just got my CME certificate so I hope someone is still monitoring the address.

    • Paul Sax says:


      CROI is now being run by IAS-USA. Although I don’t think at this point IAS-USA can do anything about the old CROI web site, a query to Donna Jacobsen at that organization would give you some more information.


HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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