Statement from Director Paul Volbering on the Death of Joep Lange

Warner Greene, Joep Lande, Paul Volberding
Photo: UCSF's Warner Greene, Joep Lange and Paul Volberding at the 2012 International AIDS Conference

"The worldwide community of those fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic has lost a true leader with the death of Joep Lange in the senseless Malaysia Air disaster. Joep was a close colleague and friend of mine and I especially miss him here at the International AIDS Conference where he was to play a leading role. Joep and I were both past presidents of the International AIDS Society, the convening body of the conference to which Joep was traveling with his close partner Jacqueline van Tongeren who was also lost.

Joep during his entire career strove to increase HIV treatment access in resource limited settings especially in Africa and Asia. He was a refined and quiet person but was fierce and effective when confronting those who stood in the way of HIV care. He read widely especially in fiction and humanities and the two of us often exchanged the books we happened to be reading when we met at countless conferences we both attended.

Joep leaves behind five daughters and we morn his death. That this was the result of mindless conflict and should make us recommit to the better world that Joep worked so hard to advance."

Paul Volberding, MD
UCSF School of Medicine
Director, UCSF AIDS Research Institute
Director of Research, for UCSF Global Health Sciences