Krista Heitzman Martel joined The Well Project in 2009 and has overseen the expansion of The Well Project’s online resources including the web portal, social media initiatives, the A Girl Like Me blog, and its mobile application. Additionally, Krista has been instrumental in identifying ways the organization can maximize its reach using new technology to better meet the needs of its ever-increasing global audience. Krista began working in the area of HIV education in 1995, shortly after her sister was diagnosed with HIV. Struck by the amount of stigma attached to the disease, as well as the lack of available resources for women living with HIV at that time, Krista was inspired to focus her career’s efforts on advocacy for women living with HIV, reducing stigma, as well as providing easy-to-use and language-appropriate information to people living with HIV and their providers. Today, Krista is excited to see and participate in advancements in HIV treatment, research and the quality of life for many living with HIV, but the ongoing social stigma, ever-increasing rates of infection in women and lack of universal treatment access continue to fuel her passion for her work at The Well Project.
Prior to her work at The Well Project, Krista helped develop and implement several women's peer treatment education training programs for HIV+ women in partnership with W.O.R.L.D., assisting in training over 40 teams of women across the US to conduct 'HIV Universities' in their communities. Krista also was the Vice President at Visionary Health Concepts, where she supervised the production of over 40 topical low-literacy educational booklets/comic books in English and Spanish related to HIV and hepatitis.