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Press Release
AAHIVM Awards Scott R. Hitt HIV Scholarship to Vasant L. Dabhi, M.D.

November 12, 2009

Washington, D.C. -- The American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) has announced Vasant L. Dabhi, MD, as the recipient of a Scott R. Hitt Memorial HIV Scholarship award. Dr. Dabhi is currently with the HIV Fellowship program at AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Los Angeles, CA. His HIV care training includes rotation through the facility's HIV neurology, Hepatitis C co-infection, High Resolution Anoscopy, and Facial Lipoatrophy clinics, as well as participation in clinical trial research on existing and novel antiretrovirals. Dr. Dabhi and AHF each receive a portion of the Hitt Scholarship award in support of Dr. Dabhi's year-long fellowship with the organization.

Prior to his participation in the AHF's HIV Fellowship program, Dr. Dabhi was Chief Resident at the Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, PA. He received a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Government Medical College, South Gujarat University, in Gujarat, India, and also completed his rotating internship for Primary Health Care, Medicine, Surgery and OB/GYN at the same institution. From 1993 to 2000, Dr. Dabhi was a Medical Officer with the public health department in Gujarat, India, serving the resource-limited area modern medical services.

"It is a great pleasure to accept this incredible award," Dr. Dabhi said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to have specialized training in HIV medicine. My training as a family practitioner has prepared me to manage the co-morbidities that are commonly seen along with this illness. My experience with an HIV-infected man with Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy confirmed that being an HIV specialist and family doctor can be very rewarding."

Dr. Jerry Cade, chair of AAHIVM's Hitt Scholarship committee, said, "We are pleased to award this Scott R. Hitt Memorial HIV Scholarship to Dr. Dabhi in support of his Fellowship with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Dr. Dabhi continues to demonstrate his unyielding dedication to medicine and his passion for helping underserved people both in the United States and in his home country of India. He exemplifies the qualities that we have always sought for our Hitt Scholarship awardees."

The Scott Hitt Memorial HIV Scholarship was established in the name of the late Dr. Scott R. Hitt, founder of the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Serving as a pivotal component of the Academy's initiative to address the HIV care provider workforce shortage, the program encourages medical providers to enter the field of HIV Medicine as a career specialty by providing major assistance for an intensive HIV care training experience. The program is open to physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants working in internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, OB-GYN, and other specialties (or those providers completing other post-residency training programs). The scholarship provides funding for an intensive two-to-three month training period in advanced HIV care. AAHIVM awards scholarship funds to both the applicant and the institution where the training will take place, in an effort to increase access to qualified medical care for HIV-infected patients by facilitating this advanced training.

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