I first met Steve Andrews, who has died aged 39 of a heart attack, in an anonymous seminar room eight years ago. Unnoticed in the corner, a slight, ludicrously young-looking man in dark spectacles nervously fiddled with a laptop. He could have been the geeky technician. In fact he was a remarkable Aids doctor whose refusal to toe the line contributed to antiretroviral medicines now being available to millions in the Third World.

We worked together for a year at Cohsasa (the Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa), where Steve ran the Aids programme in his spare time and I brought in bright ideas from England. We were immediate friends. It was impossible not to fall for the charm of this man, half bumbling professor, half mischievous prankster.