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Aids conference attendees remember MH17 victims

Victims of flight MH17 are remembered during the Aids 2014 symposium in Melbourne on Sunday night.

Aids conference attendees remember MH17 victims

“Tonight, for the next minute, let our silence represent our sadness, our anger, and our solidarity,”said Françoise Barre-Sinoussi, the International Aids Society president, as he opened the Aids 2014 symposium in Melbourne on Sunday night.

It was one of a series of powerful tributes paid to the six researchers and advocates who were heading for the conference who were killed  when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

A minute’s silence also filled the room of 12,000 attendees in remembrance of those whose lives were claimed. Those who were missing included former International Aids Society president and professor of medicine Joep Lange; his partner, the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development public health official Jacqueline van Tongeren; the HIV lobbyists Pim de Kuijer and Martine de Schutter; the director of support at the Female Health Company, Lucie van Mens; and the World Health Organisation media coordinator Glenn Thomas.

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