AIDS 2014The International AIDS Society (IAS) has confirmed that at least six delegates to the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne, Australia, were aboard Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which crashed over the Ukraine while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people aboard MH17 died.

Among the passengers was Joep Lange, MD, PhD, co-director of the HIV Netherlands Australia Research Collaboration and former president of IAS, which organizes AIDS 2014. His partner Jacqueline van Tongeren of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development also was on the flight.

Other delegates on the flight confirmed by friends and colleagues include Pim de Kuijer, lobbyist for Aids Fonds/STOP AIDS NOW!; Lucie van Mens, director of support at The Female Health Company; Martine de Schutter, program manager for Aids Fonds/STOP AIDS NOW!; and Glenn Thomas, media officer at the World Health Organization.

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

To read the IAS statement, click here.