The Australian Greens say the MH17 disaster is a horrific tragedy that will reverberate around the world.
"Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all those who have been killed, especially the 27 Australians reported to be on board," said Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne.
"Tragedies like these always touch many more people than we can ever know, but it is shocking news that up to 108 delegates to the 20th Annual AIDS Conference due to be held in Melbourne this weekend were on board the doomed flight.
"For the global community of HIV AIDS researchers, health workers and activists gathered in Melbourne this weekend, and for all those who are living with HIV and their families, this will be especially heartbreaking. If you know someone whose life has been touched by HIV, please hug them today," said Senator Milne.
Greens health spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale, said: "As someone who is going to be speaking at the conference and who has worked in the area of HIV prevention I am devastated by the loss of some of the world's most talented and dedicated people.
"While the next week will be difficult, we will dedicate the conference to memory of those we lost today and ensure that their legacy lives on in the global effort to combat HIV."