Alicia 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 hepatitis in 2017 and connected to an online community with others who had hepatitis C as well. I realized that there were hardly any supports or services for persons with a hepatitis diagnosis here, even though Canada signed onto the World Health Organizations ambitious goal of eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.
What’s an exciting thing you are working on Right now?
I just finished a two year college diploma for social work and am continuing on and getting my degree from a University.
How do you engage Community in your work?
I love my community and so I have built relationships. I listen for where a hepatitis diagnosis may intersect with other issues such as mental wellness, or substance use, inter-generational trauma, residential schools and 60s Scoop, and then I work together with community and individuals to wholistically address any of the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of these, often through culture and ceremony and two-eyed seeing approach that includes medication.
If you were to write a book about work life what would its title be?
Epclusa and Empathy
If you were able to choose, what is the natural talent or superpower you want to be Gifted with and why?
I would like to have a ‘green thumb’ and be able to grow abundantly nutritious organic foods and gather wild herbal medicines to then can, dry, and freeze and give them to anyone who needs.