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.
Depression is a very serious and fairly common mood disorder. We all feel “down” from time to time, but being sad and/or angry, experiencing problems sleeping and a loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy for more than a couple of weeks could be symptomatic of depression. Research shows that gay men are at a higher risk of experiencing mental disorders, suicidal thoughts or substance abuse issues when compared to heterosexual men.
If you think you or someone you know is living with depression, the first step is getting help. This is often the most difficult thing for people experiencing depression to do, but it is essential. Getting help could involve talking to a trusted person, a counsellor or even a doctor. When speaking with a counsellor or a doctor about depression, you may need to shop around a bit to find someone who provides the advice and treatment approach that works for you. Remember that it is also perfectly reasonable to ask for a second opinion, either about depression, the symptoms and the treatment. In some cases, the best course of action may be seeing someone who specialises in treating people with depression, and your GP can provide this referral for you. Treatment for depression can involve counselling, various activities that challenge perceptions and tackle difficult emotions, and in some cases medication.
VAC/GMHC Counselling Services help people deal with a wide range of issues. Speak to the Duty Worker on (03) 9865 6700 on weekdays between 2-4 pm to arrange a first, free appointment.
Gay and Lesbian Switchboard (Victoria) Incorporated is a volunteer organisation which provides anonymous and confidential telephone counselling services for the Victorian gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. The trained volunteers offer advice; information about gay groups and other resources in your area; referrals to gay-friendly doctors and clinics; and can be there when you simply need to talk to someone.
(03) 9663 2939
Mon-Thurs 6-10 pm (Wed 2-10 pm);
Fri-Sun and public holidays 6-9 pm
1800 184 527