He’s traveled around the world (twice). He recently ran his first marathon at age 47. He is a former U.S. Air Force (nuclear) Missile Combat Crew Member. Oh, and he’s an 18-year advocate for HIV/AIDS policy, drug treatment and policy, and criminal justice reform!
Bill McColl, AIDS United’s AIDS United’s Director of Political Affairs, is a man on a mission! His interest in HIV work began while serving as Government Relations Director at NAADAC: The Association for Addiction Professionals in Washington, D.C. where he worked on syringe exchange policy and later became Executive Director.
“I became very interested in the issue of how to apply public health interventions towards drug use,” said McColl. “In particular, I realized that our policies banning the use of federal funding for syringe exchange were resulting in tens of thousands of unnecessary HIV infections throughout the United States.”
McColl went on to become political director at AIDS Action in 2004, which merged with the National AIDS Fund to become AIDS United in 2010. Since then he’s provided leadership working to reauthorize the Ryan White Program twice, pass health care reform and to end the ban on both the use of federal local Washington D.C. funds for syringe exchange. Although Congress reinstated the federal ban, he’s hard at work on ending the syringe exchange ban (again). “I guess it’s a hard lesson that no legislative issue is ever really done,” he says. He continues to work on implementing the Affordable Care Act and the next potential reauthorization of the Ryan White Program.
In addition to AIDS United and NAADAC, he is a past Director of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance. He is currently co-chair of the Ryan White Working Group, a Convening Group Member of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership and co-chair of the federal issues working group of the Positive Justice Project.
McColl is glad to be working in HIV at a pivotal time in the battle to end the end the epidemic.
“I feel like we have an opportunity to reverse the course of the HIV epidemic in the U.S.,” he said. “I want to find ways to contribute to ending the epidemic at this exciting time.”