NORWALK - A local doctor is mourning a colleague and close friend who died in the Malaysia Airlines disaster yesterday.

Dr. Gary Blick, from the World Health Clinicians, spoke exclusively with News 12 Connecticut about fellow HIV specialist and researcher, Dr. Joep Lange.

Dr. Lange was among the passengers aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine yesterday. Lange was on his way to an international AIDS conference in Australia.

Dr. Blick says he has lost one of his best friends. Blick also says that the world has lost a doctor who has been recognized repeatedly as a great pioneer in AIDS and HIV research.

He says Dr. Lange's partner Jaqueline was also killed in the air disaster, along with several other AIDS doctors that he knew well and worked with for many years.

Dr. Blick has decided to attend the AIDS conference in Australia, where former President Bill Clinton will lead a special tribute to Dr. Lange on Sunday.