Nina Martinez, running-to-40, has been living with HIV since she was six weeks old. After pursuing graduate studies in epidemiology at Emory University, she served as a public health analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nina was an active clinical research volunteer at the National Institutes of Health for 20 years, recently completing a 10-year study of clinical outcomes in people who acquired HIV within the first decade of life. Nina is more recently known for her 7-year efforts to win HIV criminalization reform for her state of Georgia in 2022 and becoming the first person living with HIV in the United States to donate an organ (kidney) to another person with HIV in 2019.
Why Nina wants to be part of A Girl Like Me: As a military child with transfusion-acquired HIV, I've never really felt a part of HIV communities with stronger cohesion: I am not someone living with hemophilia. I am not the child of someone who acquired HIV. I am not a gay man.
I am an unorthodox woman: I am not a woman who finds parenthood or romantic, sexual relationships to be life goals, which has zero to do with my HIV status, and there is a dearth of stories like mine in the HIV conversation. I know my worth, I know I am complete, just as I am. I can and do move mountains, and that's the legacy-making track I'm in.