August 6, 2004 by

Stephen R. Tabet


Categories: Medicine

stabet.jpgDr. 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.

17 Responses to Stephen R. Tabet

  1. Scott

    I hadn’t heard about this until now. I didn’t know Stephen very well, but the few times we’d met I’d sensed his incredible warmth towards others. We also shared a mutual admiration of animals — he seemed to adore his two cats. I wish I had known him better.

  2. anna

    wow…you were truly my hero what a great person you were. I hope you know how much we will miss you the world actually stopped for us. Your love and presence is eternal I miss you baby brother, and don’t know how I will make it without you. Thanks for always loving me. You know how much I always have loved you it’s so so much. I will always grieve for you. I can never thank God enough for choosing me to be your sister. Your big sis anna.

  3. Patricia Wiggins

    I cannot say how sad I am to learn of Stephen’s death. I worked with him at the Washington Corrections Center for Women. In all my years of nursing I can honestly say he was the finest and most compassionate physician I ever had the privilege of knowing. I consider myself blessed that I was able to experience his goodness. If the Jewish belief that, at any given time, there must be thirty-two truly righteous men on the earth to ensure the survival of the human race, we have just lost one of them. I grieve for all of us. Stephen, know that my belief in goodness stems from having known you. I will mourn your passing forever.

  4. Kate Willner

    Today, thinning files from a filing cabinet, I came across copies of the NW AETC Correctional Medicine newsletters that Stephen Tabet wrote. (Our AETC emailed these to correctional medical care providers out here in the Wild, Wild West.) All of a sudden I was hearing his soft-spoken voice and easy chuckle, and seeing the cherubic smile. Stephen’s desire to make life better for people living in the complicated environment of corrections facilities was . . . “infectious”. He introduced me to corrections issues. He encouraged my trips to Florida to learn about inmate peer education from the experts at the Central Florida Reception Center; he invited my participation in his newsletter and some of his correctional medicine education programs. The award that has been created in his name is wonderful, a beautiful legacy to a kind man.
    In thinking back, did I say to Stephen how much I appreciated his confidence and encouragement? Stephen, if you can read this, thank you. I miss you. May you be remembered for good.

  5. Macgrath

    Stephen R. Tabet was really a good guy. He did great work for humanity and specially for the HIV and hepatitis C patients.Hepatitis is a general term that means inflammation of the liver. This inflammation can be caused by infection. Hepatitis can also be caused by exposure to alcohol, certain medications, chemicals, poisons, and other toxins, or by other diseases. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the many viruses that can cause inflammation of the liver.
    Inflammation of the liver caused by infection with HCV is referred to as hepatitis C.Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) presents a complex knot for scientists to unravel. After initial contact and attachment to a cell of the immune system (e.g. lymphocytes, monocytes), there is a cascade of intracellular events. The endproduct of these events is the production of massive numbers of new viral particles, death of the infected cells, and ultimate devastation of the immune system.

  6. Dora Ann

    I believe that Stephen Tabet was the last truly sincere person, that would not judge you for anything. My uncle was loving, kind, and generous. I know how much of an inpact he had on my life and those who he helped in their time of need. I love you uncle Stephen and I truly do miss you. I just want everyone to understand how important he was/is. He was my mentor and influence and I am greatful for everything he did for me and my family.

  7. estella

    i love you. you are my everything. stephen, i can’t handle life without you. but i am trying. you don’t know how much of an impact you have on my life. you don’t know how much you are missed. thank you for being you. thank you for being my brother.

  8. ShaQuana

    I did not know Dr. Tabet but I am the daughter of one of the victims of the LimeStone Correctional Facility. I am beyond words at this moment. Something led me to the internet tonight to see if I could look him up so I could contact him, and I am so saddened to see this. God, this takes my breath away. I have often thought of Dr. Tabet. It was his reports that I found on the internet during my search to find out the truth about what happened to my father. If it had not been for his reports, I would never have known. My father died in 2003 and I found the reports in 2005. I sent a very long email to Dr. Tabet just thanking him for what he had done but there was a return message that I think said the email wasn’t valid. I don’t know why I didn’t try to look him up at that time, but here I am now. I see there aren’t any recent postings but I hope this message finds a friend or family member of Dr. Tabet’s. I just want to say thank you to him for everything he did for those prisoners and especially my father. The way my father died haunts me to this day. I felt helpless then and there is a pain that I carry with me to this day because I literally had to watch my father die. There was so much anger and so many unanswered questions in my head and when I found those reports there was a peace that I found, just in knowing the truth. I pray for Dr. Tabet’s spirit and for his family. Like my father, there are so many things I wish I could say to him, but I have no doubts that they have already had conversation and my daddy has told him all about me.
    With love and deepest condolences.

  9. Linda Ball

    With a sad broken heart, but very, very proud of my friend Stephen, I knew him way back when, I worked 7yrs for his family and I got to know them all very well. After Dora, stephen’s mom died, I saw him and we talked for awhile, he told me that both he and his brother Adam were planning on becoming dr’s, because they wanted to help people get well. He was the most curious of boys, always questioning things and wanting to know how things worked, why and how they could be made better.
    He always made me laugh and for such a young boy at the time, he could hold a converstion with anybody, he had the kindest of hearts and thought well of others. He loved his family beyond all.
    I just found out 5yrs late, I sit here crying because he was my dear friend and I have thought of him and his family often.
    I pray that if his family sees this, that they know how truly saddened I am by his death. Having read all the accolades listed about Stephen, I am not surprised that he did exactly as he planned and succeeded in it far above his expectations. His mother would be so proud of him, just as I know his father, sisters and brothers are.
    I love the picture posted of him, I still see the little boy who would come work with me on weekends and summers, he loved working in the family store. He enjoyed the customers so much and they loved him
    to his family be blessed in all things

    • Adam

      I don’t know why I found this but it came up and it brought out some old memories and deep emotions. I live in Abq now after many years afar, I did become a doctor, married​, 2 great kids,near retirement and can only hope the best for you as I know I as well as Stephen valued your friendship and how you treated us as more than children, closer to peers thanks for the kind words Adam

  10. Dora Ann

    Well i know that no one has commented on this page for quite sometime, but let me just say that has with the passing of Whitney Houston it reopened the wound of you being gone all over agian. It has been making my heart ache so much lately its nearly unbearable! It’s funny though, the past week I have been having such great memories of you and how you used to laugh and smile and just bring joy to everyone around you! I wish my hitos would have been able to pester you on your visits and seen how you make them pay you to give him a massage, lol. I miss you dearly uncle Stephen! I love you so much. Things arent the same without you!

    P.S. I have been jamming Whitney Houston’s greatest hits cd and can still remember the gathering you had at the B&B when this was all I played the entire night and can almost take myself back to that day!

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