amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

amfAR Remembers Founding Board Member Dr. Joel Weisman


Joel Weisman
Dr. Joel Weisman

July 23, 2009— amfAR mourns the loss of Dr. Joel D. Weisman, a renowned physician, researcher, and international authority on HIV/AIDS who played a leadership role with the Foundation for more than 20 years. One of the first physicians to recognize AIDS as a new disease, Dr. Weisman became a founding director of amfAR in 1985 and served the Foundation as secretary and chairman of the board, director emeritus, and honorary trustee. In 1994, he received amfAR’s Award of Distinction for his role in the discovery and description of AIDS and for his compassionate care of people living with HIV/AIDS.

As a physician in private practice in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dr. Weisman began seeing a growing number of young men with unusual symptoms, including several normally seen in older patients and those with lymphoma. In 1981, he was one of several researchers who published the first report on this newly recognized acquired immune deficiency syndrome—AIDS. As founding chair of AIDS Project Los Angeles, he played a leading role in the development of services for people with AIDS. He was co-director of the first dedicated AIDS unit in Southern California, at the Sherman Oaks Community Hospital, and built one of the largest private practices for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Dr. Weisman served on numerous AIDS task forces and advisory boards, and was an associate clinical professor in the UCLA School of Medicine’s Division of Clinical Allergy and Immunology.

A tireless advocate on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS, Dr. Weisman helped draw national attention to the AIDS crisis and was a prominent voice in calling for funding for research, treatment, prevention, and care. He will be remembered by all at amfAR for his extraordinary efforts to bring an end to this devastating pandemic.

To make a donation to amfAR in memory of Dr. Joel Weisman, click here.

For Dr. Weisman’s obituary in the Los Angeles Times, click here.