PHA Comments on MH17 Loss of HIV Researchers

MEDIA RELEASE: Public Health Association of Australia

Condolences for loss of public health leaders

Professor Heather Yeatman, President of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), has expressed deep sorrow at the huge loss to the public health community – and specifically to the international AIDS community – resulting from the tragedy of Malaysian Air Flight MH17.

Scientists, researchers, medical practitioners and activists en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne – as well as many other travellers – have perished aboard the crashed aircraft.

“The members of the PHAA are deeply saddened by the loss of up to a hundred people heading for the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne and nearly three hundred people altogether.  We express our condolences to the families and friends of all who died in this horrific tragedy,” said Professor Yeatman.

“There is an irony in the fact that so many of these people have dedicated their lives in attempting to save others from the AIDS virus and have died in such awful circumstances.

“Confirmation of the loss of people like Joep Lange, a former President of the International AIDS Society, and WHO Media Advisor, Glenn Thomas, along with so many other people at the forefront of the fight against AIDS, will be devastating.

“The members of the PHAA and the public health community join with the international AIDS community in mourning for the loss,” concluded Professor Yeatman.