October 10, 2013 - Brooklyn, NY. The Well Project, a premier resource for information about women and HIV, today announced the appointment of Krista Martel as executive director of the organization. Ms. Martel brings nearly 20 years of leadership, community building, and passion to her work in HIV/AIDS, with a specific commitment to addressing the needs of women and girls.
"Krista has been an integral member of The Well Project team as our director of online services and we are honored to have her serve as our next executive director," said Dawn Averitt, co-founder of The Well Project. "Having worked with Krista in the field of HIV awareness and education for more than 15 years, I know that her experience, determination, and collaborative spirit will be instrumental in ensuring that The Well Project meets the needs of our ever-increasing global audience. Under Krista’s leadership, The Well Project is poised to become the go-to global hub for women and girls living with HIV/AIDS, as well as those seeking information on prevention."
"I am thrilled to lead The Well Project – an organization, which, in its decade of operation, has revolutionized the availability and accessibility of important and relevant information targeted for women and girls living with HIV," said Ms. Martel. "The evolution of technology and the way that people access information has not only dramatically increased the reach of The Well Project's resources, but also their impact. We have also demonstrated that providing current, accurate information along with an online social support community can decrease isolation and self-stigma, as well as have a positive impact on overall health care. I look forward to continuing to expand the reach and impact of The Well Project to women and girls in all corners of the world."
Starting in 2009 in her role as director of online services for The Well Project, Ms. Martel has been responsible for the significant expansion of the organization’s online resources, including the web portal, social media initiatives, and mobile application. She also created A Girl Like Me, a unique online global support community, featuring more than 20 active bloggers with diverse experiences from around the world, with the goal of increasing awareness and decreasing stigma for women and girls with HIV. Prior to her tenure at The Well Project, Ms. Martel helped develop and implement women's peer treatment education training programs for HIV-positive women in partnership with W.O.R.L.D., which enabled more than 40 teams of women across the United States to conduct "HIV Universities" in their communities.
Ms. Martel began working in HIV education in 1995, shortly after her sister was diagnosed with HIV. Struck by the degree of stigma attached to the disease, as well as the lack of available resources for women living with HIV at that time, she has largely focused her career on advocating for HIV-positive women, reducing stigma, and providing easy-to-understand information to people living with HIV and their providers.
"As a blogger for A Girl Like Me, I can speak to the enormous impact it has had, both for me personally and for the women who read it," said Maria Mejia, international social media activist. "Krista was one of the first people to provide me with a platform to broadly share my story through A Girl Like Me. Because of her, I am now saving lives, taking away stigma, and educating people around the world through my activism. I’ve witnessed firsthand Krista’s passion and dedication to The Well Project and for the community, and I know that under her leadership, it will become an even more important resource for women and girls around the world."
About The Well Project
The Well Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to change the course of the HIV/AIDS pandemic through a unique and comprehensive focus on women and girls. The Well Project focuses on three critical gaps related to women and HIV: information access, community support, and targeted research. The Well Project develops and provides resources that educate, empower, and support the community of women and girls living with HIV, including their caregivers and health care providers. These resources include award-winning web portals in English and Spanish that provide information on more than 150 topics related to both HIV-positive and negative women and girls; the A Girl Like Me blog, a unique online global support community that increases awareness and decreases HIV-related stigma for women and girls; and the Women's Research Initiative on HIV/AIDS, an expert, transdisciplinary think tank established to elevate, enhance, and expedite HIV treatment and prevention research on women and girls. The Well Project advocates that every woman and girl has the right to access quality, current information about HIV/AIDS, which can mean the difference between survival and death.
Together, we can change the tide of the HIV epidemic…one woman at a time.