Local residents battling HIV and AIDS are glued to the coverage of the crash involving Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 17. At least 100 of those killed when Flight 17 went down were top AIDS research scientists heading to an international conference on HIV and AIDS.
“We probably took a step back in time,” said Doris Caroll, an AIDS prevention advocate in West Palm Beach. A state licensed HIV and AIDS tester, Caroll said the ripples of losing all of those researchers will be felt around the world, including in her office.
“They mean the future of prevention, the future of treatment and maybe even eradicating HIV,” said Caroll. Those infected with HIV are now worried if the death of the researchers will impact their future."
“It hurts my heart because they were going to do more work. And just the fact that they were doing something for me,” said Stephanie June, a West Palm Beach woman who’s HIV positive.
June has lived with HIV for more than six years."
She has a husband, a little daughter and is living her life the way she wants to thanks to the researched done by scientists like the ones who were killed. June said she is indebted to the all the researchers and scientists who died."
“If I didn’t have the medication right away when I was diagnosed, who knows where I would be?” said June. “I probably wouldn’t be standing here. But the fact is, they changed my life.”
This is one of the hundreds of publications which appeared in the newspapers, shortly after the plane carrying passengers, including the Aids researchers went down, before reaching Australia. The story generated a lot of controversies and conspiracies.