Dr. Leo Moore is more than the ‘Ultimate Health Guy’

Born in Mobile, Alabama, and raised in Atlanta, Dr. Leo Moore says he’s “a Southerner through and through.” Then, a decade ago, he relocated to Los Angeles. “Apparently, once you’ve lived in L.A. for at least five to 10 years, you can consider yourself an ‘Angeleno’ — so I guess that makes me a ‘Southern Angeleno,” he adds with a laugh.

Dr. Moore says his passion for health and medicine came early. “I wanted to become a doctor since I was 5 years old,” he told Plus. “I come from a family of servant leaders — nurses and ministers. I decided early on that I wanted to become the first doctor in our family in order to be able to serve both my family and community.”

At age 25, Moore’s goal became a reality. “I went to medical school at Morehouse School of Medicine, completed Internal Medicine-Primary Care residency at Yale University School of Medicine, and then completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinic Scholars Program, a fellowship in community research and health policy, at UCLA.”

After completing the fellowship, he began working in public health and has continued in this field for the past eight years.

“In my current role, as a medical director for clinic services at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, I oversee multiple clinics focused on sexual health, tuberculosis, and refugee health,” Moore explains. “As I encounter many people who have developed unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as poor diet and lack of exercise, I recently completed a board certification in lifestyle medicine to help my patients and community adopt more healthy habits and prevent or reverse chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.”

Dr. Moore has become known as a leading specialist in HIV and STI prevention and was recently named 2024’s Ultimate Men’s Health Guy by Men’s Health magazine. Moore shared much of his personal journey in the feature, including a life-changing medical event that occurred in January of 2023. During a routine surgery, Moore’s heart stopped beating. After he was resuscitated, he says he woke with a renewed sense of purpose.

In his current role as a medical director for the L.A. County Department of Public Health, Moore is working harder than ever to end the stigma associated with HIV and is always emphasizing the importance of testing and treatment.

“We cannot end the HIV epidemic once and for all without ending HIV stigma,” Moore says. “HIV stigma affects every aspect of care, from a person’s decision to get tested, to starting PrEP, or starting HIV treatment when newly diagnosed. Additional effort is needed in regards to educating people at all levels about HIV — and also ensuring that lawmakers, attorney generals, and others involved in establishing laws and policies are aware of the advances in HIV testing, treatment, and prevention so that we can end HIV criminalization in this country. Without ending HIV stigma as well as eliminating other inequities, we run the risk of only ending the HIV epidemic for the majority and leaving the marginalized communities behind.”

To de-stress and stay happy and healthy in his own life, Dr. Moore says he enjoys “lifting weights and listening to music” after work. “It helps me decompress from the day. When the weather is nice, I also love to go for hikes in the mountains. I also enjoy reading some evenings or catching up on a TV show.”

If you’re feeling inspired to make some new healthy habits, visit his Facebook group — Dr. Leo Moore’s Fit150 Community. “The term ‘Fit150 comes from research that has shown that completing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio, like brisk walking, and two resistance training workouts per week has been associated with better weight management and decreased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and anxiety. Everyone is welcome, so join us!”

He’s also starting a new Instagram Live series called Longevity with Dr. Leo, where he’ll discuss topics with colleagues “to help people living longer, healthier lives.” Follow him on Instagam @drleomoore.

This column is a project of TheBodyPlusPositively AwarePOZ and Q Syndicate.