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July 18, 2014
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Conference Attendees Among Those Killed in Plane Crash

Several sources are estimating that around 100 of the nearly 300 people killed in yesterday's Malaysia Airlines crash were headed for the 20th International AIDS Conference, due to start in Melbourne on Sunday and run through next Friday.

IMR partner publication CIM Magazine reported that while numbers have not been confirmed, the conference organizer International AIDS Society said in a statement that “colleagues and friends en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia, were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that has crashed over Ukraine earlier today”. 

Among the medical researchers, health workers and activists believed to have been on the plane was prominent Dutch HIV researcher Joep Lange, a former president of the International AIDS Society.

Linda Gaunt, CEO of Meetings & Events Australia, said in a statement that “it is incredibly sad to realise that the world can no longer safely meet, conference, learn from each other and grow expertise. On behalf of Meetings & Events Australia I offer my sincerest condolences to the Malaysian Airline victims and their families.”

According to IMR partner MeetPie, the five-day conference will feature former US president Bill Clinton and campaigner Bob Geldof. It will be Australia’s largest health and development conference.

International Meetings Review extends condolences and sympathies to the families and loved ones of the tragedy.

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