The Malaysian plane (MH17) that was shot down in the Ukraine yesterday contained over 100 of the world’s top AIDS researchers, as they were en route to a conference in Melbourne, Australia. As of midnight Australia time on Friday, conference organizers said they had only been able to confirm seven names. Among the dead are World Health Organization advisor Glenn Thomas, as well as research giant and lauded humanitarian Dr. Joep Lange and his wife, Jacqueline van Tongeren, who has been researching AIDS for three decades. So that’s 30 years of AIDS research, literally shot down. Dr. Lange has written more than 350 papers and spent his career fighting for access to low-cost AIDS treatment in Africa. The International Aids Society said that Dr Lange’s death meant “the HIV/Aids movement has truly lost a giant.” Wow. What will this mean for the future of AIDS research?
According to reports, delegates already gathered in Melbourne for pre-conference meetings were informed of the deaths of 108 of their colleagues after the plane was downed by a surface-to-air missile yesterday. Chris Beyrer, who will take over the presidency of the International AIDS Society at the end of the global conference next week said, “We have been working hard to try and confirm how many people were on the flight. We’ve been speaking to a number of different authorities, and we think the actual number is much smaller.” The conference in Melbourne from July 20-25 will be featuring the world’s leading researchers, as well as advocates and guests such as Bill Clinton and Sir Bob Geldof.
“It’s going to be a very somber mood at the conference in Melbourne, especially for those of us who have been coming to these conferences for many years,” Clive Aspin, a health researcher, told Fairfax Media. It seems many of Dr. Lange’s colleagues already feel the impact of his death. Professor David Cooper, a leading Australian HIV researcher said, “Joep was absolutely committed to the development of affordable HIV treatments, particularly combination therapies, for use in resource-poor countries. The joy in collaborating with Joep was that he would always bring a fresh view, a unique take on things, and he never accepted that something was impossible to achieve.”
At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy,” IAS said in a statement.
Overall, 189 Dutch, 44 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 9 Brits, 4 Germans, 4 Belgians, 3 Filipinos, 1 Canadian, 1 American and 1 Kiwi lost their lives in the plane crash.
Check Out This Gallery Of Things That Will Lift Your Spirits:
17 Things To Do To Lift Your Spirits Today [GIFS]
1. 1. Play With A Puppy
It's no secret that people with pets live longer. Petting a puppy increases blood levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and oxytocin, which are both mood elevators.
2. 2. Get Less Sleep
Usually, we're told to get more sleep, but science proves that if we get less, depression lifts! Although researchers aren’t sure why it works, they speculate that one night of sleep deprivation may reset the sleep clock, enabling people who are depressed to sleep better.
3. 3. Play Peekaboo With A Kitten
As an admitted cat hater, even I can't deny the power of an adorable kitty!
4. 4. Become A Drummer
Drumming relieves stress and even allows for your aggression to be expressed in a healthy way. While it may be helpful to bang out a few notes at your desk, joining a drumming circle could be as therapeutic as, well...therapy!
5. 5. Walk It Out
Taking a walk is often used to relieve stress, but little do you know, fresh air does wonders for the brain. It energizes and uplifts!
6. 6. Smile
Turn that frown, upside down! We all know it takes more muscles in your face to frown than it does to smile. Research proves that the physiology of smiling actually makes you happy. Go ahead. Try to smile and see if notice a change in your mood.
7. 7. Feed Your Face
A dip in your blood sugar can effect your mood in a negative way. What causes your blood sugar to dip? Not eating! So make sure you get in your three square meals plus snacks, everyday! Make sure you're looking for foods rich in Omega-3 fats., as these foods have been shown to lift moods and can possibly alleviate depression. Omega-3 fats are found in oily fish like salmon or sardines, canola and olive oils, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts.
8. 8. Listen To Music
Music has a way of creating a cocoon of positivity around you. Tune out and tune into some of your favorite songs. Get lost in the melody, lyrics and soothing tunes and you'll feel better in no time.
9. 9. Volunteer
Taking yourself out of the picture and focusing on helping someone else keeps your own stress down to a minimum. Nine times out of 10, you realize that people have it worse than you, and that allows you to put your own troubles into perspective. It could always be worse.
10. 10. Get You Some
Recently a 100-year-old woman expressed that for her very special birthday, she wanted to get her some, you-know-what. But here's the thing, sex does wonders for your mood and evidently it's the fountain of youth too!
11. 11. Laugh A Little
Nothing says good mood like a healthy and hearty laugh! Making sure giggles are inserted into your day is a bonafide way of just letting it go.
12. 12. Get A Massage
By adding therapeutic massage to your routine now, you'll feel, look and simply be healthier. In fact, stress relief alone can improve your vitality and state of mind.
13. 13. Take A Deep Breath
When you're feeling frantic, you should stop, close your eyes and refocus your breathing pattern. Shift your breathing and take longer breaths. This will soothe your nerves, send oxygen to your brain and refresh your mind.
14. 14. Press Your Palms
In case you can't afford massages, give yourself one! Start with your hands, focusing on pressing the thumb from your opposite hand on the fleshiest part of your palm and firmly kneading in tiny circles and repeat.
15. 15. Let Them Eat Chocolate
Chocolate causes euphoria. No, really. The sweet treat contains alkaloids and magnesium, copper and other minerals that regulate and stabilize brain chemistry.
16. 16. Beautify Your Surroundings
Nothing says happy like looking around and catching all the beauty that's around you. Taking pride in your personal space and keeping it beautiful, makes your mood beautiful. And if that fails, surround yourself with Idris Elba.
17. 17. Stretch
Stretching a few times throughout the day stand up stretch out your arms, your back, your legs, and your neck. Be gentle and don’t over do it. Stretching should feel great and renew your energy.