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Tragic loss of prominent UN HIV/AIDS researchers.

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Media release


The Hon Dr Michael Wooldridge

Minister for Health and Family Services


MW: 201/98

4 September 98





Federal Minister for Health and Family Services, and Chair of UNAIDS Dr Michael Wooldridge, today joined with the international medical community and HIV/AIDS workers around the world in expressing his shock and sympathy at the tragic loss of two world leaders in the war against AIDS.


“United Nations officials today confirmed that Dr Jonathan Mann and his wife, Dr Mary Lou Clements-Mann, were aboard Swissair Flight 111 that crashed off the coast of Canada last night,” Dr Wooldridge said.


“Dr Jonathan Mann is credited as the first to recognise the global threat of HIV/AIDS and, as head of the World Health Organisation’s Global Program on HIV/AIDS from 1986 to 1990 was responsible for co-ordinating the global response to HIV/AIDS,” he said.


“Dr Mann gave the key note address at Australia’s 1988 HIV/AIDS Conference in Hobart.


“He played a significant role in developing the foundations of Australia’s very successful First HIV/AIDS Strategy; something he was very proud of


"Dr Mann recognised right from the start that preventive education and involvement of affected communities were critical components of any effective response to HIV/AIDS.


“Dr Mary Lou Clements-Mann made her mark in the international community in vaccine development for AIDS as well as influenza and hepatitis B.


They were on their way to an AIDS conference in Geneva when they were killed.


“Their tragic and untimely deaths are a great loss to the medical community and will be mourned by HIV/AIDS campaigners in Australia and around the world as they are remembered for their visionary contribution to the advancement of modern medicine,” Dr Wooldridge said.


Dr Wooldridge was elected Chair of the Program Coordinating Board of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS on 26 May 1998,


Media contact:

Bill Royce, Dr Wooldridge's office 0412 137 699