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MH17 crash a blow to aids research

More than 100 of the passengers were scientists and campaigners heading to Melbourne.

The organisation’s Fahim Docrat says the loss of the renowned aids researchers will have a devastating effect on research in the field.

JOHANNESBURG - A local Aids organisation says the Malaysia Airlines crash will be a major blow to Aids research.

More than 100 of the passengers were scientists and campaigners heading to Melbourne for the 20th International Aids Conference.

Health organisation Cape Hope's director is also attending the conference in Melbourne.

The organisation's Fahim Docrat says the loss of the renowned aids researchers will have a devastating effect on research in the field.

"In terms of the direct impact of the plane crash, it takes away our power in terms of employing some of the new techniques, the new medications that could have become available."

"They are researchers, they are activists. They are really at the core of international efforts to address HIV/Aids. This is a major blow to the international community, in terms of addressing Aids, it's a major brain drain, a loss of intellectual capacity."