South African tech startup connects delegates to AIDS 2020: Virtual

22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) Amsterdam, Netherlands. Copyright: Matthijs Immink/IAS COMMUNITY MARCH IN AMSTERDAM


Flexiroam Africa, a Cape Town-based travel technology company is proud to be providing a connectivity solution for the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020: Virtual) taking place from 6-10 July 2020. What was set to be a physical event hosted by San Francisco and Oakland (USA), will become the first virtual edition of the International AIDS Conference as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual conference will be attended by thousands worldwide including over 2000 scholarship recipients.

AIDS 2020: Virtual will enable delegates to access and engage with the latest HIV science, advocacy and knowledge traditionally presented at the conference. It will be a compelling combination of virtual sessions and community networking, including exhibitions, workshops, the Global Village and Youth Programme, satellites and pre-conferences, that will reach audiences around the world.

Image 1: Community march in Amsterdam, Netherlands at the AIDS 2018 conference.    Credit 1: ©International AIDS Society/Matthijs Immink.

AIDS 2020: Virtual will continue to shine a spotlight on this year’s host cities, San Francisco and Oakland, exploring the tale of these two cities through science, innovation and activism, while underscoring the Bay Area’s dedication to health equity in its “Ending the HIV Epidemic” initiative.

AIDS 2020: Virtual is organized by one of the world’s leading HIV organizations, the International AIDS Society (IAS). Their commitment to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing global health landscape and to persevere in the face of uncertainty is stronger than ever. The theme of this year’s conference is Resilience and there is no better word to describe the HIV community and their ability to come together in a shared commitment to the global HIV response.

The Geneva based organization, IAS, asked Flexiroam Africa to create a solution to close the global digital divide by providing online access to their scholarship recipients across the world. “It has been a privilege to be part of this landmark event and in the midst of the global pandemic, create a unique solution to power online access to the globally important AIDS2020: Virtual. Our teams in South Africa and Malaysia have worked tirelessly on this project and it has been a great example of what is now possible in the current era of increased digitalization. We are working across time zones with Flexiroam and the IAS teams in South Africa, Malaysia, Switzerland and the United States and all of this has been online. Our business was able to pivot during these unprecedented times and move from offering a global data roaming solution for travellers to connect people globally to a virtual conference. This opportunity was truly borne out of crisis and we are humbled by the trust and support shown to us by the IAS. There is a strong working relationship with our suppliers in Asia and together we’ve created this exciting and new connectivity solution,” said Jacqueline Aylett, CEO and founder of Flexiroam Africa.

22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Copyright: Marten van Dijl / IAS.    Photo shows: Positive Flame march: Alexandra Volgina, activist from Russia, member of international network for people with HIV (GNP)

To give scholarship delegates online access to conference events and sessions, Flexiroam will provide unlimited mobile data during the five days of the conference. Not only will AIDS 2020: Virtual showcase the latest developments in HIV research, the affiliated COVID-19 conference will present brand-new data on the pandemic, its relation to HIV and beyond. Additionally, Flexiroam Africa is providing smartphone devices from the IAS to those scholarship recipients requiring hardware support.

Conference delegates are presented with the Flexiroam SIM card via an ambitious global shipping initiative. Upon activation through the Flexiroam App, they will have unlimited data during the Conference while riding on Flexiroam’s network of partners. AIDS 2020: Virtual delegates will be able to use their Flexiroam SIM cards for any future travels. With the wide variety of flexible data packages, purchased on demand via the Flexiroam App, they can enjoy data connection around the world. Flexiroam is also available with embedded SIM (eSIM) on most of the latest devices or via a novel microchip sticker that once applied to a user’s own SIM card, provides a data roaming solution integrated with the user’s smartphone.

22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) Amsterdam, Netherlands. Copyright: Steve Forrest/Workers’ Photos/ IAS Photo shows: Charlize Theron walking around The Global Village.

About Flexiroam

Flexiroam provides worldwide mobile data coverage with over 580 network providers in more than 150 countries, without owning a single cell tower by partnering with more than 800 mobile operators globally.

The company’s core capabilities are in research and development, scalable consumer app development, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Flexiroam is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Flexiroam Africa was founded by a female South African entrepreneur, Jacqueline Aylett after her discovery of the disruptive technology pioneered by Flexiroam. She is passionate about the power of connectivity to improve lives and saw the potential of investing in becoming one of Flexiroam’s global partners to bring affordable and convenient data roaming to Africa, one of the world’s fastest-growing regions.  Visit to find out more.

About the International AIDS Conference
The International AIDS Conference is the premier global platform to advance the HIV response. As the world’s largest conference on HIV and AIDS, it sits uniquely at the intersection of science, advocacy and human rights, bringing together scientists, policymakers, healthcare professionals, people living with HIV, funders, media and community. Since its start in 1985, the conference continues to serve as an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes that ensure an evidence-based response to HIV and related epidemics. Visit for more information.