Dr. Hyman Scott, HTPN 083 protocol team member and co-investigator for HPTN 091 at Bridge HIV in San Francisco, is the clinical research medical director at Bridge HIV and an assistant clinical professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. His research focuses on implementing HIV prevention and COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, using technology to expand HIV/STI testing and PrEP, and addressing racial/ethnic disparities in HIV incidence. Dr. Scott is also an HIV and PrEP provider at the Positive Health Program (Ward 86). In addition, he leads PrEP implementation within the San Francisco Department of Health primary care clinics and serves as medical director for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation Strut Clinic.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
I most enjoy the ability to work with volunteers and community members who are committed to helping us find new HIV prevention tools. Their altruism and willingness to donate time and undergo procedures to advance HIV prevention science provide daily inspiration.
What would you say most motivates you to do what you do?
I’m most motivated by the potential to find new ways to transform HIV prevention. Daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis has revolutionized HIV prevention and changed the HIV epidemic in many places worldwide. The quest to find new, highly efficacious HIV prevention options is a powerful motivator for me.
What has surprised you most about working in HIV prevention research?
I have been most surprised that addressing racial/ethnic disparities within the US has not been institutionalized among researchers yet – the past year has highlighted the opportunities and challenges in achieving this. Given the long-standing disparities in HIV diagnoses in the US, it’s still surprising that integrating equity goals into HIV prevention protocols is more the exception than the rule.
What has been one of your proudest moments as a member of the HPTN?
As an HPTN 083 protocol team member, I was incredibly proud to see those results, which showed that the bi-monthly injections were superior to daily oral PrEP. I was also proud that this protocol included a cohort reflective of those most impacted by the HIV epidemic in the US.
What has been the biggest challenge working in HIV prevention research?
One of the biggest challenges is overcoming the comfortable silence about HIV and HIV prevention research in the US. HIV treatment has transformed HIV into a chronic disease, and ongoing community outreach and education for study participation have continued to be a challenge.
What volunteering or passion projects do you do outside of work?
My passion project outside of work is horseback riding. Most of my family rides horses; we’ve even competed in Black Rodeos together. I started riding horses again during the COVID-19 pandemic at the urging of my mother and brother, which has been an excellent balance for work.
What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is Swedish Princess Cake. I first bought one for my youngest sister’s birthday and will now drive across town to buy one slice.