An Interview With Butch McKay -- Positive Living 15 Conference
By Robert Breining
January 21, 2012
Butch McKay is currently Executive Director of Okaloosa AIDS Support and Informational Services, Inc. (OASIS), a position he has held since 1996. He founded the Positive Living Conference Series in 1997. Butch has been involved in the AIDS arena for 24 years, starting his career as a volunteer with Birmingham AIDS Outreach and UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) AIDS Clinic and Research Center.
He assisted BASIC in Panama City with initial trainings when they became an AIDS Service Organization in the late 80's and later served as a case manager, case manager supervisor , and director of education for BASIC for a collective total of 5 years. He serves on the Florida MSM Working Group, the Community Advisory Board for AIDS Clinical Trails at UAB, the Community Advisory Board for HIV Vaccine/Microbicides at UAB, the Global Community Advisory Board for the HVTN (HIV Vaccine Trails Network), past chair of the Ethics Working Group the HVTN, serves on the Community Advisory Board at UAB for the Microbicides Trials Network, serves on the Microbicides Trials Network Community Working Group and sits on the Division of AIDS Community Partner Group.
He currently chairs the Ethics Working Group for Community Partners. He served on the planning committee for the White House Summit on HIV and Aging and attended the Presidential Reception for the National AIDS Strategy. He directs the Activate! U Advocacy Academy program that was awarded the ADAP Grassroots Advocacy Campaign of the Year Award by aaa+. Butch was awarded the Florida HIV/AIDS Red Ribbon Excellence Award for Highest Achievement, and under his direction was awarded the one of the Sapphire Awards of Distinction for Community Health Excellence by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida. But the award he values the most was perhaps the most unique, attendees of one of the Positive Living Conferences all signed personal messages on his office door thanking him for opening doors to so many.
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I describe myself as a "positive person with purpose." My goal is to help people living with HIV/AIDS discover similarities in each other ... and form friendships. I want to ease the shock of a diagnosis and remind people that our dreams are not infected. I am also an HIV/AIDS cyber-activist, radio show host, blogger and social network guru.
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