MALAYSIAN AIDS COUNCIL MOURNS MH17 TRAGEDY
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 which crashed over Ukraine on Thursday was reportedly carrying many participants attending International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia
KUALA LUMPUR, 18 JULY 2014 – The Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) is deeply saddened by reports that as many as 100 participants en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) taking place in Melbourne, Australia were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 which has crashed in eastern Ukraine earlier today.
World-renowned HIV researcher and former International AIDS Society (IAS) president Professor Joep Lange was reportedly among the passengers of the ill-fated MH17 who were bound for Melbourne to participate in the premier gathering for researchers, scientists, policy makers, health workers, activists, and others working in the field of HIV, which is set to begin on Sunday.
“MAC and the Malaysian HIV civil society stand with the rest of Malaysia and the international community on this extremely sad occasion and offer our sincerest condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in the crash,” said MAC President Datuk Dr. Raj Karim.
“The tragedy is a colossal loss to the global HIV & AIDS movement and to humanity. Not only was Professor Lange a brilliant scientist, he was an extraordinary humanitarian who fought tirelessly to improve access to lifesaving antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV in developing countries. And so were the other victims of the tragedy whose collective voices, passion and dedication to the cause have fueled the global fight against HIV & AIDS. As we mourn this inconceivable loss of great minds of the HIV world, we dedicate all our efforts and progress that we have made in the national HIV response to their memory,” she added.
At AIDS 2014, MAC will be represented by a five-member delegation comprising staff members of the organisation who work on a multitude of disciplines in the HIV field from policy development to fundraising. They will be joined by some 14,000 of their colleagues from 200 countries around the world for five days between 20 and 24 July 2014 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to evaluate recent developments and lessons learnt in the HIV response.
The International AIDS Conference is convened bi-annually by the IAS in collaboration with international and local partners.
Malaysian AIDS Council
The Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) was established in 1992 to serve as an umbrella organisation to support and coordinate the efforts of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working on HIV/AIDS issues in Malaysia. MAC works in close partnership with government agencies, the private sector and international organisations, to ensure a committed and effective NGO-led response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In addition to providing nationwide coverage of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services, MAC and its Partner Organisations serve as the common voice for communities most affected by HIV/AIDS in the country. Learn more at www.mac.org.my.
Media & Communications Department, Malaysian AIDS Council
Zaki Arzmi │ +6016 292 2948 │ [email protected]
Meera Abi │ +6016 414 6400 │ [email protected]