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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Congresswoman Waters Responds to Downing of Malaysian Jetliner

July 18, 2014
Press Release

"I was devastated yesterday when I learned of the tragic destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over the Ukraine. I condemn this senseless act of violence, and I hope that the individuals responsible for shooting down this plane are swiftly brought to justice.

"As a longtime leader in efforts to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, I was especially saddened to learn that many of the passengers were on their way to attend the 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. The deaths of longtime AIDS researchers such as former International AIDS Society president Dr. Joep Lange are a profound loss to the worldwide AIDS community. While the exact number of passengers planning to attend the AIDS Conference is yet to be determined, the loss of up to 100 medical researchers, health workers, and community activists will be deeply felt by all who care about ending the scourge of HIV/AIDS.

"I participated in both the 2006 International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada, and the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, and I was inspired by the commitment, determination and enthusiasm shared by attendees from all over the world. I hope that the tragic deaths of so many dedicated researchers and activists on their way to attend this year's conference will inspire all of us to rededicate ourselves to stopping the spread of HIV and finding a cure for this terrible disease.

"My thoughts and prayers are with all of the families who lost their loved ones in this horrific tragedy."