There were around hundred passengers who were present in the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down on Thursday in Eastern Ukraine who were headed to international AIDS conference that was held in Melbourne. This is a very large conference in the world and it began in the year 1987 wherein policymakers, advocates and scientists gather for sharing latest progress in battling against this disease.
Among the many that lost their lives were giants of research community of HIV. Both Jacqueline van Tongeren and Joep Lange meant a lot for them as friends and colleagues said Brandon O’Dell from Institute for Global Health and Development. Joep Lange was earlier the president of International AIDS society, through which the conference is organized. His partner, Van Tongeren was an advocate, a nurse and head of communications for AIGHD.
The details and motives of what had happened to the plane are not yet clear. Around 298 people were killed in the missile attack. For those who are involved in this fight against this raging disease AIDS, loss and pain are acute. Many resorted to Twitter for expressing their sadness and shock. This is definitely a very tragic news for the field that has seen so much progress.