Gideon Hirsch, PhD, MD, the CEO of Israel’s AIDS Task Force, was found dead in his apartment from an apparent pill overdose, reports  

Hirsh, 48, had been living with HIV for the past 20 years and had served as the head of the task force for the past four years. In 2003, he graduated from medical school, making him the first openly positive medical student in the country.  

“We lost a dear man who was a father and a guide to us. There are not enough words to describe his charismatic personality,” said Yonatan Karni, Hirsh’s friend. “His fight for the rights of people living with HIV, along with his great contribution to increasing awareness of the illness, generated a major change in public understanding of the subject in Israel.”

Hirsh wasn’t the only one in his immediate family to commit suicide—his mother killed herself in 1994, as did his father in 2002. He is survived by his younger brother.