About Staying Negative

Staying Negative aims to emotionally engage, inspire and facilitate imagination in sexual health practices. The campaign profiles the real life stories of gay, bisexual and trans men who have sex with men (MSM). Men talk about all aspects of their life from coming out, relationships, sexuality and a broad range of other topics. While HIV and safe sex is an important part of all stories, it is not the exclusive focus.

Prior HIV prevention campaigns have traditionally focused on providing gay men with information that will encourage them to adopt safe sex behaviours. In reality, safe sex practices are influenced by a whole range of environmental and cultural factors. The campaign also provides an opportunity for HIV positive men to talk about their lives and discuss how their strategies to staying HIV negative were not successful. We understand that there is more than one way practice safe sex and adopt healthcare seeking behaviours, so let's be creative about it!

There are no real criteria for participants other than that they are MSM and happy to have their stories appear as part of the campaign. In addition to the personal stories, the website provides information on HIV/AIDS, sexual health, relationships and broad of the other relevant topics including domestic violence, drugs and alcohol and depression.

Isolation

Isolation can affect anyone but being gay can mean you feel isolated from the community, your friends and even your family if you haven’t told them about your sexual identity.  There are different types of isolation and you can experience them all at different times of your life.  For example, social isolation (having no one to talk to), emotional isolation (feeling distanced from family and friends), and cognitive isolation (lack of access to information) are all very different. They can affect you in different ways and can occur for a variety of reasons. Things which can contribute to experiencing different types of isolation include losing contact with friends or family members after coming out; especially if they are unable to accept your sexuality.

The main issue with isolation is that it can lead to other issues, such as mental health problems or drug and alcohol use. If you are feeling isolated, by finding your way to this website you have found a number of resources that will (hopefully) make you realise you are not alone. Take a look around at the information we’ve put together; it’s all about issues relevant to you and your community.

While there are a range of resources and support groups available, some people find it more difficult to access information or to seek help from others. This can be especially true for those in rural and outer suburban areas. The internet can be a great way to engage with the community and to get chatting with other like minded people, especially if you live outside of the metro area.  Also look out for publications directed at the gay and lesbian community, such as MCV and the Star Observer (which is also available online), which have up to date information on GLBTIQ issues and events. Another great source of news is SameSame.com.au which features lots of news and info for the entire community. These can help you feel more in touch with the community and enable you to discover some of the community events or groups that might interest you Just by accessing the Staying Negative website, you have found a community of people of whom are different ages in varying circumstances. They may have stories that you can relate to and they may even inspire you.

You can also check out our Meeting people page to get some tips on how to get out there and experience some of the things that are on in the community.

Tell us your story

Tell us your story

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Come and tell us your story! We would love to hear from you! If you want to find out a little more about how it all works, give Jessie a call at VAC on (03) 9865 6700, or email staying.negative@vac.org.au