Top Dutch AIDS expert on downed Malaysian plane

By Sonali Paul MELBOURNE (Reuters) – An influential Dutch AIDS expert was among the 298 passengers on a Malaysian airliner that was shot down over Ukraine, along with others who were headed to an international AIDS conference in Melbourne, an Australian associate said on Friday. Joep Lange, who spent more than 30 years researching and fighting HIV and AIDS, was known for advocating cheap access to treatments in poor countries. “Joep had an absolute commitment to HIV treatment and care in Asia and Africa,” said David Cooper, a professor at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, who worked closely with Lange on an HIV research project in Bangkok. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said a number of people on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 were on their way to the 20th International AIDS Conference.
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