About 100 of the 298 killed in the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 crash in Ukraine July 17 were reportedly individuals headed for the 20th International AIDS Conference in Australia.
Attendees at a pre-conference gathering in Sydney were informed the morning of July 18 that 100 of their colleaguesamong them researchers, medical workers and activistshad been killed in the crash, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Among the dead were reportedly Joep Lange, an HIV researcher from the Netherlands and a former president of the International AIDS Society; Glenn Raymond Thomas, a spokesman for the World Health Organization; Pim de Kuijer of Stop AIDS Now!; Martine de Schutter of AIDS Fonds; Jacqueline van Tongeren of AMC Department of Global Health; and Lucie van Mens of the Female Health Company.
The plane was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and Perth, and many of the passengers were to connect to Melbourne, where the conference begins July 20.
Conference officials released a statement via their website: "The International AIDS Society (IAS) today expresses its sincere sadness at receiving news that a number of colleagues and friends en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia, were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that has crashed over Ukraine earlier today.
"At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy."
In a July 17 statement, Human Rights Campaign officials said, "HRC wishes to extend our condolences to the friends and families of everyone aboard Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. We are deeply saddened to learn about the deaths of the many HIV/AIDS advocates believed to be on the plane. HRC joins the international community in mourning the loss of all those who lost their lives today, including such dedicated health professionals. They will be sorely missed."
From The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC)
The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) expresses condolences to the families of the victims of yesterday's tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, among them friends and colleagues in the global response to HIV/AIDS, including former IAPAC Trustee Joep MA Lange, MD, PhD (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands).
"The tragedy that is unfolding in eastern Ukraine as a result of the criminal act perpetrated against flight MH1 is truly unspeakable," said IAPAC President JosÃ© M. Zuniga, PhD, MPH, a former Chicagoan. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the 298 people who lost their lives aboard flight MH17, among them mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, and friends and colleagues whose lives were cut short by a senseless act of terrorism that is touching countless people worldwide."
Sydney Morning-Herald's report is at: bit.ly/1ngLZM4 .