International AIDS Society confirms six colleagues died aboard Flight MH17

(Melbourne) - The International AIDS Society (IAS) has today confirmed the devastating news that at least six delegates traveling to the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne, Australia, including former IAS President Joep Lange, were on board the Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 that crashed over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

"The extent of our loss is hard to comprehend or express," said President of the IAS, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi. "We grieve alongside all of those throughout the world who have lost friends and family in this senseless tragedy."

The IAS has paid tribute to former IAS President Joep Lange who was travelling with his partner Jacqueline van Tongeren, of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development. Please visit:

"Our colleagues were traveling because of their dedication to bringing an end to AIDS," said Owen Ryan, Executive Director of the International AIDS Society. "We will honour their commitment and keep them in our hearts as we begin our program on Sunday."

The names of those confirmed at this time by friends and colleagues on board flight MH 17 are:

  1. Pim de Kuijer, lobbyist Aids Fonds/STOP AIDS NOW! 
  2. Joep Lange, Professor of Medicine, University of Amsterdam and Scientific Director, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development 
  3. Lucie van Mens, Director of Support at The Female Health Company 
  4. Martine de Schutter, Program Manager Aids Fonds/STOP AIDS NOW! 
  5. Glenn Thomas, World Health Organisation 
  6. Jacqueline van Tongeren, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development