Dr. Stephen R. Tabet, a world-renowned physician and AIDS activist, died on July 6. Cause of death was not released. He was 42.
Raised in Belen, N.M., Tabet graduated from the University of New Mexico Medical School and earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of Washington. He became an infectious disease specialist and worked to improve prison health care. At McNeil Island Corrections Center in Steilacoom, Wash., he developed a treatment program for inmates with hepatitis C and overhauled the prison’s clinic after it was shut down for various failings.
As the deputy editor of the HEPP Report, Tabet documented how the Limestone Correctional Facility in Harvest, Ala., provided inadequate care for HIV-infected prisoners. Prior to his investigation, inmates with HIV were isolated from other prisoners and mistreated or ignored by the medical staff. Tabet’s report led to a landmark court settlement last month.
An associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington, Tabet also worked with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network to help develop a therapy program for people who were infected with HIV as vaccine test subjects. In October, the HIV Education Prison Project plans to name its Prison Medicine Advocacy Award in his honor.