About ASIF

ASIF is an international membership organisation representing patient associations around the globe specialising in the support of patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis (axSpA)

ASIF is a Charity registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales Charity # 1173902

ASIF’s Mission is To increase awareness of Axial Spondyloarthritis (axSpA) and knowledge of the disease around the world to all key stakeholders be they people living with axSpA, health care professionals, researchers, pharmaceutical organisations, policy makers or the general public.

Axial Spondyloarthritis (axSpA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that encompasses radiographic (Ankylosing Spondylitis or AS) and non-radiographic (nr-axSpA) forms.  It is a rheumatic inflammatory disease primarily affecting the spine and sacroiliac joints  Called Morbus Bechterew in some European countries.  It can lead to chronic pain, structural damage and disability.

Leading symptom:  Inflammatory back pain that improves with exercise but not with rest
Disease onset: Usually before the age of 45, often in the 20’s
Prevalence:  Similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis 0.2-1.4% of adults have axSpA
Comorbidities:  Patients may also experience uveitis, psoriasis, enthesitis and IBD
axSpA:  Affects both men and women equally

axSpA places a huge physical impact and psychological stress on patients which can disrupt every aspect of their life and its quality including mobility, sleep, work and relationships.  It is a poorly understood disease that causes patients to worry for their future.

ASIF is a member of the People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe (PARE), a standing committee of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR). We also cooperate with the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS), the international working group of Axial Spondyloarthritis researchers.

ASIF has 47 Patient Organisation Members from 41 countries around the world.

Industry Partners

ASIF is grateful to its industry partners:



Aims of Asif

  • Exchange of information and experiences among the member societies,
  • Cooperation in international research projects,
  • Exchange of articles for publication in the journals of the member societies,
  • Support of the development of newly formed societies,
  • Make contact with axial spondyloarthritis stakeholders in countries where an axSpA society does not yet exist

ASIF Constitution

This version of the constitution was accepted by the ASIF Council at its 12th meeting held in Moscow (Russia) on 8th October 2016 and amended at a Annual General Meeting in Madrid (Spain) on 12th June 2019.


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    President: ZHIVKO YANKOV Bulgaria
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    Secretary: ANDRI PHOKA Cyprus
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    Treasurer: THIERRY VANNIER France
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    Trustee: DR. TUNCAY DURUÖZ Turkey
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    Trustee: RUTA GRIGIENE Lithuania
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    Trustee: RAJ MAHPATRA United Kingdom
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    Trustee: CASSIE SHAFER United States of America
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    Trustee: ALEKSEI SITALO Russia
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    Trustee: LILLANN WERMSKOG Norway
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    Trustee: YUKI ZENIYA Japan
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    Scientific Advisor: DR. UTA KILTZ Germany
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    Scientific Advisor: PROF. MARCO GARRIDO CUMBRERA Spain
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    Executive Support to the Board: JO DAVIES United Kingdom
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    Administration Assistant: VALERIA TASSI United Kingdom (and Italy and Germany)
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    Volunteer (past Trustee and Secretary): MICHAEL MALLINSON Canada
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    Project Manager JO LOWE Portugal and United Kingdom
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    Communications Manager JOANNE DE BRY United Kingdom