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AIDS researchers who perished in MH17 crash

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Out of the 298 people that died in the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, 189 were Dutch, among whom were HIV/AIDS researchers. They were on their way to a medical conference in Melbourne, Australia.

*Jacqueline van Tongeren, 64 Communications Director – Netherlands

Ms. van Tongeren’s interest in H.I.V. began in the 1980s, when she was a nurse for patients with the virus. More recently, she was the communications director at the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development and a member of the board of Art AIDS, which invites artists to produce work dealing with AIDS. Her interest in art dated to the 1970s, when she ran a gallery in Amsterdam. Ms. van Tongeren was traveling on Flight 17 with her partner, Dr. Joep Lange, a prominent AIDS researcher. [eap_ad_1] *Joep Lange, 59 AIDS Researcher – Netherlands

Dr. Lange, a renowned AIDS researcher from the Netherlands, was traveling aboard the Malaysia Airlines jet with his partner, Jacqueline van Tongeren, to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Lange had worked in the field of infectious diseases since the early years of the AIDS epidemic and had focused his efforts on making treatments cheaper in poor nations in Asia and Africa. “Joep was a person who knew no barriers,” said Dr. M.M. Levi in a statement on behalf of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, where Dr. Lange worked.

*Martine de Schutter AIDS Activist – Netherlands

On her LinkedIn page, Ms. de Schutter described herself as a cultural anthropologist specializing in gender and sexual health, including H.I.V. and AIDS. “Throughout my (professional) life, I hope to contribute to making the world a better place to live, work and love,” she wrote. She was a program manager at Bridging the Gap, which offers targeted H.I.V. prevention and treatment.

*Pim de Kuijer, 32 AIDS Activist – Netherlands

Mr. de Kuijer, 32, a former European Commission diplomat, was also en route to the AIDS conference. A couple of years ago, he famously came out as being gay during a stand-up comedy routine in a well-known cafe in Amsterdam. After that experience, he committed himself to activism of all sorts.His passion for equal rights and democracy even brought him to Ukraine as a foreign election observer during the May 25 presidential election, after the Ukrainian revolution that brought down pro-Russian leaders. Mr. de Kuijer watched the chocolate producer Petro O. Poroshenko win the vote and was pleased, a close friend and former employer said. “Pim was so proud to contribute to democracy in the Ukraine,” said Lousewies van der Laan, a Dutch politician living in Slovenia. Rafal Farbisz, who worked with Mr. Kuijer in Sierra Leone, described him as a “friendly, passionate traveler and backpacker.” Hundreds of people were expressing disbelief and sorrow on a Facebook post that Mr. Kuijer put up from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport before boarding the flight.[eap_ad_4]

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