World Aids expert among victims of plane crash

2014-07-18 14:08
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Flight MH17 crash site

Crash site of fight MH17, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 shot down over Ukraine.

The Hague - World-renowned Aids expert Joep Lange was among the victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed in eastern Ukraine, his society announced on Friday.

"I can confirm Joep Lange was on the plane," Andrea de Graaf, spokesperson for PharmAccess, told AFP by telephone from Amsterdam.

The PharmAccess Foundation, which Lange set up in 2000, is a non-governmental organisation that facilitates access to treatment for HIV and AIDS patients across Africa.

Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, which US officials believe was hit by a surface-to-air missile over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, was due to connect with another flight to Melbourne.

The Sydney Morning Herald said as many as 100 of those who died were delegates en route to Melbourne for the 20th International AIDS Conference, which is to begin on Sunday.

'Massive loss'

"This is a massive loss. We are devastated," PharmAccess managing director Onno Schellekens said in a statement.

Lange's "dedication to the treatment of HIV/Aids and global health in general has been groundbreaking," Schellekens said.

Lange's close friend and fellow Aids expert Jaap Goudsmit added: "It's a great loss to the world in the fight against Aids, a great loss to The Netherlands and a great loss for me."

Lange "was a politician and activist in every sense of the word. He never thought of retiring. This was his whole life", Goudsmit said, his voice choked with emotion.

Lange, who was 59, had worked since 1983 at Amsterdam's Medical Centre.

Lange was president of the International Aids Society from 1992-95, and he co-chaired the International Aids Conference held in Bangkok in 2004.
Read more on:    malaysia airlines  |  malaysia  |  air travel  |  mh17  |  air crashes  |  aviation

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Mind power dominates and can help you to uncover things from a deeper level, but it can also create entanglements if you let more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.