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.


Saunas can be fun because you’re allowed to only wear a towel or sometimes even nothing at all! You can fully check out how hot a guy is without having to try too hard but some guys may not like this as it leaves nothing to the imagination. There’s often a cover charge for entry into the sauna and you’re provided with a locker and a towel. It’s recommended that you have a shower before you enter the sauna and after you have sex with someone for general hygiene (and good manners). There will be private cubicles, some with vinyl-covered mattresses or dark corners where you can get it on with someone or with a few people at the same time! Remember to respect people’s rights to privacy and don’t ruin the mood for everyone by making lots of noise, laughing really loudly or just being a general nuisance.

Tips for saunas:

  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after your sauna session as the steam can really dehydrate you.
  • Be careful of drinking or taking drugs before going to a sauna because the heat can make your body react differently to these drugs. We don’t want you passing out!
  • Be careful when sniffing amyl nitrate in a sauna as the heat can make it a lot more potent that it usually is, making it hard to gauge.
  • If you’ve never been before, bring a friend along or ask one of the staff members, they’re usually very helpful.
  • Have a cool shower if you feel like you’re heating up and it’ll help freshen you up too.
Tell us your story

Tell us your story


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