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Martine de Schutter was deeply involved in the fight against inequality and a strong advocate for universal health care. After working for the World Health Organization in South America, she returned to the Netherlands to work on the international response on STIs. Since 2004, she was the key player in AIDS Action Europe, a European network connecting over 400 AIDS organisations in Europe and Central Asia. Martine was strongly committed to keeping AIDS on the agenda of the European Union, and to putting it on the agenda in Eastern Europe. Being a single mother did not keep her from traveling. Her son was always in her heart.

It was a real pleasure to travel with Martine. She was always ready for good conversation or a light chat, discussing both the fun and the serious issues. Everyone who traveled with Martine was sure to visit the best and most interesting places, and enjoy the finest food and best views. Her positive attitude and her antenna for ‘the fun stuff’ brought people together – quite useful for her work as well.

Martine became Programme Manager of Bridging the Gaps in early 2014. Through this programme, Aids Fonds and other organisations support vulnerable groups of people globally. Her ability to connect people made her the right person for the job; a job for which she also had to travel, this time to Melbourne.

Martine’s commitment to the international AIDS response resulted in a large personal network in the Netherlands, Europe and other parts of the world. The condolences that we are receiving from everywhere demonstrate the appreciation and the warmth that people all over the world felt for Martine.

Martine had a big heart; she saved the largest part for her son. She was extremely proud of him and loved to talk about him. Although she never was a real fan of soccer, she was glad to travel along with him to Barcelona to watch his favourite football club play.

Martine was an expert and involved colleague, and a fine hearted friend. Our thoughts and sympathy are with her son, her parents, and her sister. We wish them strength in these difficult times.

A condolence page has been made for Pim de Kuijer and Martine de Schutter