When Indigenous Australian artist Jacob Boehme was diagnosed with HIV in 1998 at the age of 24, he thought his life was over. "I wasn't too educated about HIV, I knew enough to be scared of it and that was about it," he said. "I initially went off the rails a bit...it took me until I was about 30 to get my act together and realise that I was not going to die."
Now 45, the Melbourne-based performer has not only accepted his diagnosis but used it to empower him.
Three years ago, Boehme publicly shared his experiences of being a "gay Aboriginal man with HIV" in his first solo dance work, Blood On The Dance Floor, and he continues to tour the piece internationally and across Australia.
"This is the point of getting up on stage and speaking because we’re not talking about it and HIV is not going away," he said. "The Indigenous voice has been lost in the conversation and it is about time we had a seat at the table."