Scott Hitt

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 29 November 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1160
  1. Bob Roehr

    Chaired US presidential AIDS council

    The full force of AIDS was just beginning to emerge when R Scott Hitt started to practise medicine in 1983 in Los Angeles. The term AIDS was only months old. The first journal article—five rare cases of Pneumocystis carinii in young men, all active homosexuals, in Los Angeles—had been published just two years before in MMWR: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports. The virus itself had yet to be identified and only a few hundred Americans had died from it.

    As an openly gay man and physician, at a time when both society and the profession stigmatised homosexuality, Hitt took on the challenges of the epidemic that would decimate his community. With his tall, classic California good looks, intelligence, and winning manner, he quickly became a leader in the medical and political fights against HIV.

    He was a member of the Pacific Oaks Medical Group in Beverly Hills, which grew to become one of the largest private HIV medical practices in the country. He served on the governing board of the AIDS Project Los Angeles, a charity that provides social and medical services.

    The Reagan administration was slow to respond to the crisis as …

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