Jul 21, 2014, 11:56 AM
News Code: 2721803
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UNAIDS in shock over tragic loss of life

Tehran, July 21, IRNA — UNAIDS expresses deep sadness over the loss of life of the passengers and crew of flight MH17, which crashed over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, July 17, 2014.

While the full details are still unclear, it is believed that many of the passengers were on their way to participate in the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

According to a press release issued by the UN Information Center, It has been confirmed that the United Nations has lost a colleague from the World Health Organization.

It seems that some of the finest academics, health-care workers and activists in the AIDS response may have perished while travelling to take part in the international gathering of experts and advocates. Professor Joep Lange, the former President of the International AIDS Society, was among the victims. Professor Lange was a leading light in the field since the early days of HIV and worked unceasingly to widen access to antiretroviral medicines around the world.

“We are bracing ourselves to hear of the deaths of others who worked in the AIDS response as their names are officially released,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS in Geneva last Friday. “The UNAIDS family is in deep shock. Our hearts go out to the families of all the victims of this tragic crash. The deaths of so many committed people working against HIV will be a great loss for the AIDS response.”

The UNAIDS family stands in solidarity with the families, friends and colleagues of all who have perished in this tragedy.