In its annual search for the fittest, most driven men in the country, Men’s Health magazine crowned Leo Moore, MD, a doctor committed to reducing HIV stigma, the Ultimate Guy for 2024.

Out of hundreds of men who entered this year’s Ultimate Men’s Health Guy contest, Moore, 38, earned the title because of his resilience, positive mindset and passion for fighting against health inequities in underserved communities. An internal medicine doctor, Moore specializes in HIV medicine and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, or STIs.

In 2021, he was honored in POZ magazine’s annual POZ 100, which that year recognized African-American advocates. You can read his profile here.

In January 2023, Moore’s health took an unexpected turn when his heart stopped for over nine minutes after a routine elective surgery went awry. After being pronounced clinically dead, Moore was brought back to life through intense resuscitation efforts. The experience left him with a renewed sense of purpose.

“I was given a second chance at life,” Moore told Men’s Health. “And because I’m a spiritual person, my assignment here on earth is not done. That is how I saw that. That my purpose is not yet fulfilled. I was given another opportunity to fulfill it.”

After he recovered, Moore remained committed to saving lives as the medical director for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. As a Black same-gender-loving man, he is passionate about ending the HIV epidemic and actively works to reduce HIV stigma and encourage testing and treatment.

“[Stigma] keeps people from getting tested; it keeps people in denial from getting treated,” he said. “It keeps people from getting treated at all, even though they know their diagnosis. And we still have people dying from AIDS to this day because they refuse to believe that they have HIV, or they are so fearful of side effects that they’d rather die from not taking the medication.”

Moore helped launch the first World AIDS Day celebration at his undergraduate alma mater, Columbus State University in Georgia, and brought free HIV testing to the campus.

Today, Moore advocates for people living with and affected by HIV as a member of the United States Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). In addition to connecting people with HIV to care, Moore educates medical providers about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV and has worked with the “Get PrEP LA” campaign to better market the meds to those most at risk.

“With this second chance, I will continue to provide care to my patients and community, [and] I will continue to be a loving and dependable friend, uncle, brother, and son. And although I don’t know exactly what the future holds, I know that I will lead with love.”

In related news, Wednesday, February 7, marks the annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, #NBHAAD.