Flight MH17: Condolences and loss

20 July 2014
Annie Holmes

On 17 July 2014, a passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was allegedly shot down over Eastern Ukraine. Along with the tragic loss of nearly 300 individual lives, this disaster robbed the HIV field of researchers and activists en route to the 2014 International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference in Melbourne.

Leading figures identified by IAS as being on the flight:

  • Joep Lange, co-director of the HIV Netherlands Australia Research Collaboration (HIV-NAT) and former International Aids Society president
  • Jacqueline van Tongeren, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development
  • Pim de Kuijer, STOP AIDS NOW!
  • Lucie van Mens, director, AIDS Action Europe
  • Maria Adriana de Schutter, AIDS Action Europe
  • Glenn Thomas, World Health Organisation

 At the official opening of the bi-annual conference, 12,000 delegates stood in silence to register their sadness, anger and solidarity. 

We grieve alongside all of those throughout the world who have lost friends and family in this senseless tragedy. But we strongly believe that all of us being here for the next week to discuss, to debate and to learn is indeed what our colleagues who are no longer with us would have wanted. We dedicate Aids 2014 to them."

International Aids Society president, Françoise Barre-Sinoussi

STRIVE partners add our voices to tributes from around the world to our valued colleagues. We send our sympathies to the families of all who lost their lives.