June 17, 2014

Statement Regarding Malaysia Airlines Flight

We have learned from press reports that numerous HIV/AIDS researchers, advocates, and public health leaders traveling to the International AIDS Conference in Australia were on board the Malaysia Airlines flight that crashed and killed 298 people in eastern Ukraine yesterday. Among the victims was Joep Lange, a top AIDS researcher and former International AIDS Society president.

We deeply mourn the death of all 298 victims, and we acknowledge with great sorrow that the loss of knowledge carried by those who died on the plane will have a devastating impact on HIV research.

I am sure that you join me in extending sincere sympathies to all to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this heartbreaking and senseless tragedy.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, National Institutes of Health