I looked a little more deeply into what the AIDS research and advocacy community lost on Flight MH17, in this piece for Live Science Health. There were not, as originally reported (and as referenced in my earlier blog post) upwards of 100 AIDS scientists and activists on the Malaysian Airlines flight shot down over Ukraine. The International AIDS conference in Australia to which they were traveling confirmed six people headed to the conference died on that flight.
That included Joep Lange, who was, by all accounts, a pioneering HIV/AIDS researcher, as well as a passionate advocate. The others lost worked as advocates and activists. If nothing else, their work suggests the many ways people can have an effect on this pandemic (and vice versa) — from letting people know that the female condom is a thing to fighting for sex workers’ rights.