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Tragic Loss for The HIV Research Community

July 18, 2014
Their loss will be felt throughout the HIV research field and in communities around this globe

Our sincere condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of all of those touched by the Malaysian Flight 17 tragedy. Six passengers were fellow HIV researchers and advocates heading to the AIDS 2014 Conference in Melbourne. We are deeply saddened by the loss.

Among those lost was Dr. Joep Lange, a Dutch clinical researcher who specialized in HIV therapy. Dr. Lange was pioneer in HIV research who worked tirelessly to improve the health and well being of those infected with HIV.  He was a leader in the field, and served as the president of the International AIDS Society from 2002 to 2004. Long before large programs became available to distribute HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment in low and middle income countries, Joep challenged us to do just that. He developed model international programs to advance the science of HIV/AIDS. Joep was a mentor to a great many of us.

The HIV/AIDS community will miss Dr. Lange and our many other colleagues who were on that flight. Their loss will be felt throughout the HIV research field and in communities around this globe. They perished on their way to share their knowledge and energy with us in Melbourne. We will re-dedicate ourselves to this task and continue their work, and ours, as we continue to reduce the impact of HIV worldwide and strive to end the HIV pandemic.