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Statement on the Downing of Malaysia Airlines Fight 17

July 17, 2014 – TAG’s staff and Board of Directors are at a loss for words following today’s tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, made all the more horrific by the reported loss of several HIV/AIDS researchers, civil society staffers, and other community leaders en route to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. Our thoughts are with the families, friends, and colleagues of all 298 passengers and crew who perished.

“Unfortunately, scientists can’t just stay scientists. Their resources and skills are needed to mobilize treatments on a global scale. Scientists and physicians have delivered astounding achievements in this area. But we need to push them and their talents so that research and clinical care are available and made meaningful to those who need it the most. And yes, I have observed the community getting angry again. That is a good sign. We need strong advocates from both the developed and the developing world. Activists emerging from Africa have already established historical landmarks.”
—Researcher, University of Amsterdam professor of medicine, founder of the PharmAccess Foundation, scientific director of HIV[e)Ducation, co-director of the HIV Netherlands Australia Research Collaboration (HIV-NAT), former president of the International AIDS Society, activist, humanitarian, father, partner, and friend Joep Lange, MD, PhD (September 25, 1954 – July 17, 2014).

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