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AIDS delegates’ touching tributes

BuzzFeed Australia
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Top AIDS researchers and delegates have paid tribute to their colleagues who were tragically killed in a plane crash on their way to an AIDS conference in Melbourne.

More than 100 people killed in the MH17 tragedy were flying to Melbourne to attend the 20th International AIDS conference.

• Dark cloud covers G20, AIDS event
• 108 AIDS delegates on plane

Amongst those killed were Joep Lange, the former president of the International AIDS Society, and activists Lucie van Mens and Maria Adriana de Schutter from AIDS Action Europe.

In memoriam of their colleagues, attendees at the conference penned short tributes to their friends for BuzzFeed Australia.

The touching messages shone light on the work of the people who were lost in the accident.

President-elect of the International AIDS Society, Dr Chris Beyrer, said that their deaths would serve as a reminder of how precious life could be.

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States called Mr Lange an “outstanding scientist” and an “inspiring activist”.

Thousands of delegates at Saturday’s opening ceremony gathered for a moment’s silence to remember those who were killed in the plane crash.

“We are ready and determined to make this conference the huge success it deserves to be,” Dr Beyrer said ahead of the opening ceremony.