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.

Filter by issue

Stories: All Issues

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  • All Issues
  • Age of consent
  • Anal sex
  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Coming out
  • Coming Out Late
  • Counselling
  • Depression
  • Disclosure dilemmas
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Family violence
  • First time
  • HIV testing
  • Homophobia
  • Injecting drug use
  • Internalised homophobia/stigma
  • Isolation
  • Living with HIV
  • Married
  • Meth
  • Negotiated safety
  • Peer education
  • Relationships
  • Religion and sexuality
  • Safe sex
  • Self esteem
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual racism
  • Suicide
  • Transgender
  • Violence

Darren V

I think he knew, even when we fucked. Why else would he insist, twice, that I had the test?

Ben J

I'd been using meth & having bareback sex all the time. I must be positive too, but I felt nothing.

Zen

I asked God for death because I’d rather that than face what I had to.

Daniel C

“Oh thank God that’s it! I thought you were gonna say you have cancer or something!”

John Pendal

For me to get hard, somebody needs to be feeling fear or pain

Adam A

What kind of dynamics are going on in our world that makes meth so popular?

Pan

Intimacy & connection I thought I had whilst under the influence, was simply not the case after.

Ned

The truth is, I was using every day and I couldn’t stop.

Theo P

Feeling so rejected, unsupported & unloved by anyone led me to use meth even more

Brendy

Two police officers as parents and a son that's as camp as Christmas!

Zac

I'm somebody who doesn’t use drugs, I’m aware that I’m the oddball.

Brandon

Crippling anxiety disorder and a very frail frame - I cannot be taking this drug!

Mike O

My internalised homophobia caused me to separate sex from romance.

Michael

I treat Dolly with respect - I want her to be taken seriously.

Nathan

Unfortunately, within those two months I had shared a needle.

Max

HIV is just a part of me; it’s not all of me and never will be.

Anthony L

I saw my dad beating my mum - most traumatic experience I’ve ever had

Craig

There are so many amazing facets to who I am, my status isn't one that I’m defined by

Brian E

There were huge periods I suffered from self-loathing

Ben

always had a weight issue, even had an eating disorder...

Jack

When I was young I was really overweight and I got bulled for being fat

Jesse

I wondered if I’d completely ruined my life by getting into porn

Dirk Caber

I simply am not made for such things as love or sex.

Steven Spencer

End HIV transmission by 2020? PrEP is a very important part of that.

Alvin

I believe I'm the only Asian deaf gay guy in Melbourne.

Kai

When I was 17, I decided to transition into a male

James W

I used to get smashed into the lockers every day and get beaten up on the bus

Rick

I started shaking, I was so nervous about whether I was going to do it right.

Andrew

This is where I'm going to prove that I'm straight.

Ash

...worried I'd get stabbed in that school.

Shane

I ended up contracting HIV from going to a sauna.

Josh

I found comfort in Mormonism.

Buck

I call myself the man with a pussy

Rawiri

I attempted suicide three times in that period.

Nicholas

I couldn't handle diabetes and HIV!

Aaron

I was discharged from the military

Gareth

I think coming out is an anti-climax

Rithy

I didn't fit in, a part-Asian thing?

Angel

My father hit me if I acted queeny

Stephen

first crush on a straight friend

Darren

My world had turned upside down

Matt

I wanted to be that bad boy

Michael

the worse I felt, the more I drank

Jim

I could have avoided HIV

Glenn

Could I be HIV positive and happy?

Lawrence

she took my kids away from me

Wayne

sleep with a guy and be a husband

Sam

It all sort of went pear- shaped

Rodney

a criminal because I'm with a man

Benjamin

Chinese gays will just marry someone

Raymond

I love Bear culture

Andrew N

having sex together at 10 years old

Neil

liked being castigated more than the sex

Seth

walk the halls hearing 'fag' 50 times

Keegan

I became this uber gay twinkie guy

Scott

Had a crush on the milk driver

Malcom

It’s all Ken and Barbie’s fault

Francois

People think that I’m a robot

Peter

He did the big reveal on stage

Josh

I was going in and out of the closet

Jeremy

I was always treated differently

Tom

I didn’t even pick up at The Peel!

Damien

Wait til there's a cock up your arse

Christopher

I felt numb and then I couldn't move

Gregory

please don't make me gay

Nigel

gays were shouting at us bisexuals

Tono

I think I'm not a good Muslim

Colin

If I’m fucking I put a condom on

Scott

I figured muscles attract muscles

Joe

Tried to distract from being gay

Simon

He'd erupt into violence and attack me

Tyson

sex can be a positive thing in life

Mark

I only did headjobs and handjobs

Michael

My wife read my journal about him

Leo

HIV in the 80s stopped us

Francesco

Clients who specifically wanted me

Michael

No problem being Jewish & gay

Daniel

If you do this after 16, you're a fag

Andrew

I tried to tell them I have sex with men

Mark

Didn’t bother me they were HIV positive

Adam

I’ll go to church and ask forgiveness

Glenn

I went into denial and didn't test for 6 years

Ethan

I always liked to play with boys

Peter G

Sometimes I'd use male prostitutes

Greg

I’ve got cerebral palsy, I'm not asexual

Doug

people I knew were dying of AIDS

Chris

perverse satisfaction when I found out

Andrew

to him it was just sex

Travis

Fuck first, ask questions later

Anthony

Mum sent me to gay conversion school

Phillip

I didn't accept myself

Mike

Take me or leave me, so what?

James D

there were bisexual signs as a teenager

Brad

I had to pee all the time due to anxiety

Robert

i was bisexual as a teenager

Peter C

Paid sex is for work, not pleasure

Indi

Gay sex is illegal in Sri Lanka

Dean

My god, don’t we have enough sex?!

Paul

My first time, I was in heaven

Carl

you end up doing laps for scraps

Adam

Told them I was gay in hospital

Koky

I was quite impressionable

Clinton

seeing him get fisted was a turnoff

Brent

The first time was traumatic, I vomitted!

Bryan

I'm from a small aboriginal community

Joe

I was addicted to beats
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