Future keynote speaker in St. Maarten: Leading AIDS expert among dead in flight MH17 crash

POSTED: 07/21/14 2:12 PM

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten AIDS Foundation bemoaned the profound loss for the global AIDS community that resulted from the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. The plane was en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Australia, the foundation said in a press release. The conference is a bi-annual event attended by leading AIDS experts around the world. It is believed that more than 100 of the 298 passengers on board were medical researchers, health workers, and activists whose single common aim was to further the cause against HIV/AIDS.

Among those on the plane was Dr. Joep Lange, a former president of the International AIDS Society from the Netherlands, who has been a leading expert in the field of HIV/AIDS since the 1980s. Dr. Lange was also scheduled to visit Sint Maarten in August, to be the keynote speaker at the 11th CCAS HIV International Workshop, on the theme of Prevention benefits of antiretroviral therapy in Caribbean HIV patients.

“We lost many colleagues and like-minded advocates of the HIV/AIDS cause when their journey was cut short. It is with a heavy heart that we reiterate that our work to prevent new infections and to care for affected persons must continue on, in memory of those that were so dedicated to this field”, noted Dr. Gerard van Osch, President of the AIDS Foundation.

 

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