The American Academy of HIV Medicine, an independent organization of HIV medical specialists, announced Monday that R. Scott Hitt, the agency's chief executive officer and the former head of the President's Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS, resigned from the organization effective immediately. Hitt had served as AAHIVM's CEO since January 2000.
Hitt's resignation came less than a week after he lost his medical license after being arrested for investigation of possessing a controlled substance. Additionally, the California medical board earlier this year barred Hitt from practicing medicine for 60 days and placed him on seven years' probation in the midst of allegations that Hitt had molested two patients at his Beverly Hills, Calif., practice. The board had accused Hitt of sexual misconduct, gross negligence, repeated negligent acts, incompetence, and dishonest and corrupt acts. Hitt had acknowledged touching one male patient's genitals in August 2000 and "crossing the boundary" with another male patient a month earlier. Hitt, who was the first openly gay director of a presidential advisory panel, said his judgment was impaired at the time because he was battling cancer, which is now in remission.
AAHIVM's board announced it will move forward with plans to hire a new executive director. Dan Levek will serve as interim executive director during the search process. "On behalf of the board of directors I wish to laud the service Scott [Hitt] has performed for AAHIVM," said AAHIVM board chair John Stansell. "His insightful leadership and nurturance of AAHIVM has enabled it to become the foremost professional organization in the field of HIV medicine."