It was 1985 and HIV/Aids had exploded in Australia.
Working as a social worker counselling vulnerable gay men in Sydney’s Kings Cross, I saw first hand the human cost of this brutal epidemic.
In the shadow of the now notorious Grim Reaper adverts, it was a community gripped by fear and stigmatised into isolation.
As a gay man myself, it hit far too close to home. I lost friends to Aids. I watched families turn their backs on loved ones.
When the crisis peaked in 1994, almost 800 Australians were dying each year from Aids-related illnesses.