Columbus man credits his life to HIV/AIDS researchers killed abo -, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus man credits his life to HIV/AIDS researchers killed aboard flight MH17

Prominent HIV/AIDS researchers were among the 298 victims identified aboard flight MH17, and to honor their legacy, the Chattahoochee Valley Better Way Foundation is hosting a candlelight vigil.

We spoke to the founder, who credits his survival to those lives that were lost.

In 2003, 40-year-old Jeremy Hobbs was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS.  He had a CD4 count of 16, which is well below the minimum of 500 needed to fight off viruses; so there was little hope he'd survive.

"My doctor told me go home and make final preparations. You're going to die," Founder of the CVBWF Jeremy Hobbs recalled.

Over a decade later he was thriving.

"Because of some of the people that were on this flight that have come out with Anti-Retrovirals, I'm living here today. I'm living proof that the medicines work," Hobbs declared.
Hobbs credits his survival to top HIV/AIDS researchers like scientist, and pioneer professor Joep Lang, PHD. Officials report the prominent Dutch scientist and his partner Jacqueline van Tongeren, were killed along with four other delegates when the Boeing 777 was shot out of the sky over Ukraine on Thursday.
The group was scheduled to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference in Australia.

"They've done so much to help me, I want to honor them as well," said Hobbs.

Hobbs said he planed to remember those lost in a big way.

"We want our community to step forward and lift up these people's memories. We'll have music and testimonials," Hobbs informed.
Hobbs said he was staying hopeful that a cure for HIV-AIDS will be discovered and he believed their work will not be in vain.

"All the work that these people put in, 30 years of work. New news came out about researchers being able to pinpoint HIV and destroy the cells with new gene surgery which is coming out. That right there is a big step towards a cure," Hobbs exclaimed. 

The outdoor candlelight vigil will be held at the Columbus Government Center's outdoor courtyard, Saturday July 26th at 9:00pm.

The event is open to anyone that would like to attend. 

Candles will be provided but organizers ask that you bring a candle as well, to make sure there is enough to go around. 

Anyone wanting to perform or help with the vigil to please give him a call at 706-580-6239.
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