United States

Martha E. Lang is an educator, researcher, activist and long term survivor of HIV/AIDS. She holds a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology. She has taught and spoken widely on issues related to HIV/AIDS including her personal experience of living with the virus, the history of the pandemic, harm reduction, public health policy, individual and collective methods for addressing stigma and how intersectional drivers such as gender, class, race, nationality, sexual orientation and gender identity shape local, national and global epidemics/pandemics. She is currently writing a book that addresses the history of the pandemic and its current challenges through the lens of her experience as a teacher, researcher and woman living with HIV/AIDS.

Martha has also taught, published, and presented on other health topics including gender and racially based health disparities, sexual orientation, gender identity and health care accessibility, mental health, disability and health social movements.

Martha was diagnosed with AIDS in 2001 and spent many years working to regain her health through a combination of good medical care, diet, exercise, meditation, prayer, support from family and friends and complementary alternative medicine. She lives in Massachusetts with her supportive wife, Lisa and her spoiled cats Lily and Morris. When not writing and thinking about HIV/AIDS, she enjoys teaching, hiking, singing, cooking, swimming, eating chocolate, reading good poetry and watching bad television. Martha is an active member of The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and during her waking hours wears a Quaker bonnet as a testimony of her faith.

Why Martha wants to be a part of A Girl Like Me: I would like to contribute to A Girl Like Me for several reasons.  Although over half of the people living with HIV/AIDS globally are girls and women, our experiences are often absent from public and scientific dialogue of the pandemic:  I believe that each time we share our truth we also ensure our voice is heard in these conversations.  In addition, living with this virus for most of my adult life has taught me a great deal about self-care:  I would like to share what I have learned with other women and in turn learn from them.   Finally, when I received my diagnosis of AIDS I also received a calling to speak, write and teach about HIV/AIDS: Blogging for A Girl Like Me is one way I can remain faithful to that calling.