The former president of the International AIDS Society, Joep Lange was one of the 298 passengers and crew killed on the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down while it was flying over Ukraine airspace this morning.
It is understood the HIV AIDS researcher was en route to Melbourne for the International AIDS Society conference which is due to begin on Sunday.
The National AIDS trust tweeted this confirmation:
Reports Joep Lange died in Malaysian plane crash today, with other scientists on way to @AIDS_conference. Desperately sad news.
— National AIDS Trust (@NAT_AIDS_Trust) July 17, 2014
Lange was the president of the society between 2002 and 2004. He was a leading HIV AIDS researcher and was a resident professor at the University of Amsterdam.
Foreign minister Julie Bishop has just confirmed 27 passengers on the flight were Australian nationals but warned the number could grow.
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