News / Health

AIDS Society Mourns Researchers, Experts Killed in MH17 Crash

AIDS Society Mourns Six Researchers, Experts Killed in Plane Crashi
X
Anita Powell
July 19, 2014 9:35 PM
The International AIDS Society has confirmed that at least six high-level researchers and AIDS experts were among those killed on a Malaysia Airlines flight downed Thursday over volatile eastern Ukraine. The victims include the former president of the society, which is holding its annual week-long conference beginning Sunday. Officials say this blow will not deter their work. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from the conference site in Melbourne, Australia.
Anita Powell

The International AIDS Society has confirmed that at least six high-level researchers and AIDS experts were among those killed on the Malaysia Airlines flight downed Thursday over volatile eastern Ukraine. The victims include the former president of the society, which is holding its annual week-long conference beginning Sunday in Melbourne. Officials say this blow will not deter their work.

International AIDS Society officials say the death of their colleagues comes as a serious blow on the eve of the annual conference.

The society’s president, Francoise Barre-Sinoussi spoke to reporters outside the conference hall Saturday; a cloudy, windswept Melbourne day.

FILE - Joep Lange during a conference in Paris, July 14, 2003.FILE - Joep Lange during a conference in Paris, July 14, 2003.
x
FILE - Joep Lange during a conference in Paris, July 14, 2003.
FILE - Joep Lange during a conference in Paris, July 14, 2003.

“The International AIDS society has today confirmed the devastating news that at least six delegates travelling to the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne were on board, including our former president, Joep Lange, and his partner, Jacqueline van Tongeren," she said. "The extent of our loss is hard to comprehend and express. Our colleagues were travelling because of their dedication to bringing an end to AIDS. We will honor their commitment and keep them in our hearts as we begin our program on Sunday.”  

The other victims include Pim de Kuijer of STOP AIDS NOW!, Lucie van Mens and Maria Adriana de Schutter of AIDS Action Europe, and Glenn Thomas of the World Health Organization.

Incoming International Aids Society President Chris Beyer said organizers want to honor their fallen colleagues’ work. The theme of this year’s conference is “stepping up the pace” in the fight against AIDS. Beyer said this tragedy cannot slow them down.

“We discussed this of course, among ourselves, our friends, our colleagues, and what we agreed, and I think we had a real consensus, everyone agreed, that the colleagues we lost were people who committed their lives and their work to HIV/AIDS, and they would want this conference to go forward and that they would want us to have them in our hearts during the conference,” he said.

The crash has thrown a conflict across the world into sharp relief for Australians. Pro-Russian rebels have in recent months laid siege to eastern Ukraine, a Russian-speaking area, and in June shot down a Ukrainian military plane, killing all 49 people aboard.

Saturday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said again that he believes Russia-backed separatists shot down the Malaysian plane, possibly with Russian assistance and equipment.

Abbott also called for an independent international investigation into the crash, which killed all 298 people on board.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: shelly persaud from: Guyana
July 19, 2014 9:18 AM
Its so sad
In Response

by: lee from: thai
July 21, 2014 10:54 AM
( WORLD ) Never ever forget the atrocity here inflicted by Russian inhumane Parasites ..
Evil is all Russians know and their leader Putin loves to pull the trigger..Putin the terrible....

Russians despised the world over....Deavils Disciples.....
JOE BIDDEN said it best... "Putin you do not have a soul"

by: Wayne from: Canada
July 19, 2014 8:51 AM
This is looking more and more suspicious all the time.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs