Lange dedicated his life to researching HIV. Since 1983, he has been studying the virus and working to develop possible treatments. According to his official bio, Lange was the architect and principal investigator of several pivotal trials on antiretroviral therapy and on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
“Joep had an absolute commitment to HIV treatment and care in Asia and Africa,” Professor David A Cooper stated. “The joy in collaborating with Joep was that he would always bring a fresh view, a unique take on things, and he never accepted that something was impossible to achieve.”
From 1992 to 1995, Lange was chief of clinical research and drug development at the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva. He was president of the International AIDS Society from 2002 to 2004 as well as the founder and the chairman of the PharmAccess Foundation, which is dedicated to improving access to health care in Africa, and the founder and editor-in-chief of the journal Antiviral Therapy.
At the time of his death, Lange was a professor of internal medicine, the head of the Department of Global Health at the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam and executive scientific director of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development.
Dr. Seema Yasmin, a staff writer at the Dallas Morning News, took to Twitter to praise Lang's professional accomplishments and the love he had for his five daughters.
"Ask anyone who knew him. Joep was often times cooking for his five girls while on conference calls discussing HIV," Dr. Yasmin wrote. "I asked him why he worked so much. He said, 'Do you know how much it costs to buy shoes for five girls?' He was a kind man and a true humanitarian."
According to The Australian, Lange was one of about 100 people on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 who were heading to Melbourne to attend the International AIDS Conference. The plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot out of the sky near the Russia-Ukraine border, killing all 298 people on board.
Lange's partner Jacqueline was also among the crash victims, The Kirby Institute confirmed.