On Thursday, July 17, a missile shot down Malaysian Flight 17. Many focus on placing the blame, who did it, and why. Such questions should and need to be asked and answered, but we cannot forget the secondary, tragic effect of such an action.
On board the flight 298 souls lost their life, snuffed out by the horrible actions of a few. These people were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents and children and grandchildren along with numerous friends of others around the globe. The sorrow these family members and friends feel is beyond words at having someone taken so suddenly and violently.
But lost in all of this is a second tragedy. A large number of passengers, up to 100 depending on sources, were part of the international HIV/AIDS community. People who were working on a range of aspects, from awareness of the disease and how to prevents its spread to people working on finding a cure.
Dr. Joep Lange, the first President of the International Aids Society, was a leading expert in the fields of HIV/AIDS. A truly tragic loss as his tireless work around the globe in the prevention of spreading the disease, especially in Africa, has had a huge impact on how we currently treat, and view HIV.
The group was on its way to Melbourne, Australia for a conference on HIV/AIDS when the plane was shot down. Its a sad day, who knows if someone on board might have had the idea to cure the disease, and now is lost to us.
The tragic side-effects of a terrible decision which has political, emotional, and could even have scientific ramifications around the world.