5 Questions with Hermione Jefferis, Peer Research Associate for the Making it Work Project

Hermione is a Peer Research Associate with the Making it Work Community Based Research Study. 

What sparked your interest in working in the HIV or hepatitis C community?

I was diagnosed with HCV in 1993 while in hospital having a baby. It was a big shock at a vulnerable time, and they had very little information to offer me. I went home with a new baby feeling scared and as if my body was dangerous. In 2000, while I was working in the old needle exchange program for AVI, they applied and received funding for a hepatitis C peer support program. I was hired for that role and one way or another, I have remained involved. HIV has also been a presence in my life since the 80’s when I watched friends and sweethearts first test positive; some were lucky enough to still be alive when anti-retroviral medications became available. So many aspects of my life are entwined with the HCV/HIV community; they are my people!

What’s an exciting thing you are working on right now?

Well, the most exciting thing in my life right now is that I have been accepted for a Masters’ program at Royal Roads University! I quit school after grade 9 so I am proud and excited and scared and all the feelings!

How do you engage community in your work?

Treat others as I would like to be treated.

If you were to write a book about work life, what would its title be?

“Love in the Trenches” or “Virus, A Musical”??

If you were able to choose, what is the natural talent or superpower you’d like to be gifted with and why?

To be musical or to be able to communicate in all languages.