20 Jul

New institute to carry on work of HIV pioneer and MH17 victim

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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img In the global health community, Lange is remembered as a scientist who didn’t just study problems but also tried to solve them. For instance, he was instrumental in convincing pharmaceutical companies in the mid-1990s that a cocktail of drugs was the best way to fight HIV, said David Cooper, the head of the Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society in Sydney, Australia, in an interview last year with ScienceInsider.Once those cocktails had proven successful and had been widely introduced in Western countries, Lange became a passionate and effective advocate for bringing them to the millions of HIV-infected people in developing countries, which many at the time deemed impractical or impossible. In a video tribute released on Wednesday, former U.S. President Bill Clinton recalled that Lange was one of the first partners of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, with programs to dramatically increase access to HIV medication in South Africa and Tanzania.In the last decade of his life, Lange became interested in increasing access to health care in general—by setting up health insurance plans in Africa, for instance—and driving down poverty. “Joep was a true hero in the world of health and development. Always ahead of this time, always a driving force for innovation and inclusive economics,” Clinton said. “I am very grateful for the creation of the Joep Lange Institute so that his legacy will live on.”Four others involved in the fight against HIV, all headed for the Melbourne meeting, died a year ago: Glenn Thomas, a spokesman for the World Health Organization; Pim de Kuijer and Martine de Schutter, who both worked for STOP AIDS NOW!, a Dutch advocacy group; and Lucie van Mens, an advocate for the use of female condoms at the Female Health Company.(Video credit: PharmAccess Group) AMSTERDAM—One year ago today, the missile attack on Malaysia Airlines flight 17 (MH17) ended the life of Joep Lange, a towering figure in the world of HIV/AIDS and global health. But Lange’s work will live on in a new institute that aims to bring his characteristic combination of research and on-the-ground action to bear on health problems in developing countries.The Joep Lange Institute was formally announced on Wednesday, along with a new, rotating chair and fellowship program at the Academic Medical Center, where Lange was a professor and founded the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development. The new institute will open its doors in Amsterdam later this year, supported by some $20 million from various private sources in the United States. A spokesperson declined to name these benefactors but says they will be announced later this year. The Joep Lange Chair and Fellows program will be partly funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Lange died while traveling to an international AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia, along with his partner and co-worker Jacqueline van Tongeren and 296 other people on board MH17. Their plane was shot down in eastern Ukraine while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.last_img

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