Tributes paid to Aids research 'giant' Joep Lange

Aids and HIV charities from across the world have been paying tribute to world-renowned AIDS researcher Joep Lange, who died after a Malaysia Airlines flight crashed over Ukraine, killing 298 people.

Lange was due to attend the International AIDS Conference underway in Melbourne, along with numerous other attendees on board, the organisers said.

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Our condolences go out to those who were affected by the #MH17 tragedy. #JoepLange was a true giant in HIV research. You will be missed.

Read: People hearing to Aids conference 'on board MH17'

Earlier, the conference organisers said:

At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with out international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy.

The IAS is hearing unconfirmed reports that some of our friends and colleagues were on board the flight and if this is the case this is a truly sad day.

The IAS has also heard reports that among the passengers was a former IAS President Joep Lange and if that is the case then the HIV/AIDS movement has truly lost a giant.

– IAS and AIDS 2014

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MH17 bodies begin long journey back to the Netherlands

The bodies of flight MH17 victims have begun a long journey back to the Netherlands, where they boarded the downed airliner almost five days ago amid continued diplomatic tensions over the 298 deaths. A train carrying the bodies of victims have arrived in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. From there they will be flown to Eindhoven to be identified and repatriated. 200 bodies were on board not the 282 claimed by rebels, a Dutch official said.