AIDS Community Mourns Loss of Colleagues Aboard MH17

On behalf of Management Sciences for Health (MSH), we send condolences to all the families, colleagues, and friends of the passengers killed on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

Many of us are still in shock at the senseless loss of life—all too common among those fighting HIV & AIDS.

(Read International AIDS Society statement.)

From my time at the World Health Organization (WHO), I remember vividly Joep Lange’s passion and determination for ending HIV & AIDS. In 1999 and 2000, when the scale-up of AIDS treatment was still considered unaffordable, unfunded, and—in many people’s minds—undoable, he pioneered AIDS treatment and brought people together in united action. We also lost Glenn Thomas, the WHO spokesperson, and others committed to ending HIV & AIDS.

We are missing our friends and colleagues this week in Melbourne, Australia, at the 20th International AIDS Conference. On Friday evening, Michel Sidibé of UNAIDS shared a conversation he had with Joep a week ago about the conference. He said that Joep told him:

We must never miss the opportunity to transform Melbourne as the beginning of the journey ending AIDS.

Indeed, we must remain determined to continue the fight to end HIV & AIDS and work together toward a more just world.

Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH, is President & CEO of Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

Related Opening session includes tributes to lost colleagues aboard MH17  (PDF)

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