13 Global AIDS Leaders Mourn Missing Colleagues Who Died On MH17

“You remind us how precious human life can be.”

Six of the AIDS community’s strongest voices have been remembered and celebrated at the start of the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne, Australia.

David Crosling / AAP

The conference delegates and community leaders were en route to Australia when MH17 was shot down.

Soa Aids Nederland

Soa Aids Nederland

 

(L-R): Dr Joep Lange, Jacqueline Van Tongeren, Martine de Schutter and Pim de Kuijer.

Soa Aids Nederland

 

(L-R): Glenn Raymond Thomas and Lucie van Mens.

Around 12,000 delegates from about 200 countries have gathered in Melbourne for the annual conference.


Today’s opening ceremony included a minute’s silence to remember those who died when MH17 was shot down.

1. BuzzFeed asked delegates at the conference for remembrances. President-elect of the International AIDS Society, Dr Chris Beyrer had this touching message for his friends.

Mark Di Stefano / Buzzfeed

2. High-profile Dutch campaigner and founder of STOP AIDS NOW!, Dr Peter Van Rooijen.

Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed

Dr. Van Rooijen holds five hearts representing the five Dutch colleagues lost in MH17.

3. A friend and colleague of Pim de Kuijer, Sjoerd Van Elsen, who works for AIDS Fonds in The Netherlands.

Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed

“Always right.
Always good advice.
Always time for you.
Pim x”

4. A regular collaborator with Dr. Joep Lange, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States.

Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed

“Joep Lange was not only an outstanding physician and scientist, he was an inspiring ‘activist.’”

5. UK AIDS charity operator Justina Mutale of Positive Runway.

Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed

6. Senior Director of HIV/AIDS team at Save The Children, Dr Kechi Achebe (left).

Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed

7. Fabio O’Brien De Carvalho from Brazil’s Ministry for Health.

Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed

8. Jenny Alpa, who provides HIV/AIDS treatment in Papua New Guinea.

Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed

9. Australian AIDS researcher Kylie Johnston from the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society.

Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed

10. Benedicte Astier with CRIPS in France.

Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed

“We are all very sad and we are thinking of families and colleagues who have lost someone.
With our solidarity.”

11. Trust Govere with the National AIDS Council in Zimbabwe.

Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed

12. Australian founder of Globally Aware, Kim Davis.

Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed

13. And the CEO of the Canadian AIDS Society, Monique Doolittle-Romas.

Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed

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