Officials are reporting that a large number of world-renowned AIDS researchers and activists heading to an international AIDS conference in Australia were on board flight MH17. There are unconfirmed reports that there may have been 100 passengers on board the flight that were heading to the conference in Melbourne. Victoria Premier Denis Napthine says:
There’s been confirmed a number of senior people who were coming out here who were researchers, who were medical scientists, doctors, people who’ve been to the forefront of dealing with AIDS across the world.
Without confirmation, Napthine is unable to give the actual number of how many on board were heading to the conference. Among the dead is former president of the International AIDS Society Joep Lange, a well-known HIV researcher from the Netherlands.