The 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) begins Sunday, July 20, in Melbourne, Australia, on a somber note. Several participants were aboard the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 that crashed over the Ukraine while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The International AIDS Society, which organizes the conference, released the following statement:
The International AIDS Society today expresses its sincere sadness at receiving news that a number of colleagues and friends en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17.… At this incredibly sad and sensitive time, the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy.
The International AIDS Society…is continuing to work with the authorities to clarify how the tragic loss of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 impacts our conference delegates, our conference partners, and our community as a whole.
In recognition of our colleagues’ dedication to the fight against HIV/AIDS, the conference will go ahead as planned and will include opportunities to reflect and remember those we have lost.
POZ will continue to cover this story as it develops.
To read the IAS statement, click here.