Maria Mejia

Global Ambassador

Maria Mejia is a Global Ambassador, Community Advisory Board Member and A Girl Like Me blogger for The Well Project. Diagnosed with HIV in 1991, Maria began a long journey to find hope, pride and passion in a society unprepared to deal with the growing epidemic of HIV and AIDS. After living with HIV for 10 years without treatment, Maria found herself at a crossroads: she could begin medical treatment or continue to slide towards death. Maria chose to live and to fight for more than just her own health.

Maria immersed herself in HIV/AIDS education and became a powerful activist for education, treatment, testing and prevention. In 2010, Maria first became involved with The Well Project by joining the newly formed A Girl Like Me blog, when she decided to utilize social media and the power of the internet to reach people around the world. Since then, she has also attended a number of conferences on behalf of The Well Project and became a member of their community advisory board in 2014.

In recent years, Maria has received recognition for her activism and social media initiatives, including being the top 20 Most Amazing HIV-Positive Women (HIV Plus), the 2014 Dennis de Leon voz de compromiso award (Latino Commission on AIDS), the 2013 Leaders, Lovelies and Legends award, Social Media Campaign of the year for 2012 (ADAP Association), and a being named a 2014 "41 List" honoree (one of 41 Latino leaders in the LGBT community).

Maria is the co-author of the book From a Warrior's Passion and Pain, a real life account of her 25-year battle with HIV. She has also spoken at national and international conventions and been featured in numerous campaigns including the upcoming Greater Than AIDS campaign on IPV, HIV and women, the Centers for Disease Control's campaign, "Let's Stop HIV Together", The Stigma Project and the Office of Women's Health's National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD).

In addition to her work for The Well Project, Maria is a public speaker, a volunteer for the Red Cross, an HIV educator for Jackson Memorial Hospital, a co-chair for Women and Minorities Outreach for the Dab the AIDS bear project, and a member of Janssen Pharmaceuticals' digital advisory board.

Maria lives with her wife, Lisa, in Miami, Florida. She continues to build support, educate, and encourage testing and health care in a city with one of the highest new HIV infection rates in the country.

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Vijay Gupta created HIV

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The 2014 WRI meeting focused on the role that violence and trauma play for women in HIV acquisition, access to care, care delivery, retention, and wellness outcomes.

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The 2009 WRI meeting aimed to identify and then prioritize research questions in order to determine the area of focus that would most significantly impact our understanding of HIV disease in women.