As a resident dermatologist at the Unviersity of San Francisco Medical Center, Conant was the first doctor to link Kaposi's sarcoma -- skin lesions that became early hallmarks of victims -- to the HIV virus which causes AIDS.
He went on to found what became the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, was an early and widely-respected advocate for research and treatment, and also successfully defended the right of physicians to recommend cannabis to patients.
Sadly, one of the key players in the fight to make AIDS a treatable illness and educate the public to reduce the stigma associated with the disease finally found one challenge he's no longer up to -- dealing with health insurers.
Unfortunately, the toll that insurers take on a doctor's time finally proved too much, and after funding his private practice out of his own pocket while working part-time, is moving to New York City, where he will continue to conduct virus research and consult on difficult cases.
"This is only symptomatic of a much bigger problem we have in this country with health care," Conant explained to the San Francisco Chronicle.