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.

Debunking HIV myths

Kissing & Cuddling
HIV cannot be transmitted to another person by kissing or cuddling as there is not enough HIV in saliva for transmission to occur. Sweat does not contain HIV and it cannot be transmitted through skin to skin contact.

Massage, body stroking and licking
HIV cannot be spread through massaging, body stroking and licking, nor is it spread from other forms of casual physical contact.

Wanking (yourself or someone else)
HIV isn’t passed on through wanking (masturbation) someone else and touching yourself or vice versa. Nor it is passed on through cumming on someone’s body even if it gets on or in the eyes. HIV needs to enter the bloodstream before you get infected so if semen gets inside an open wound (say from a deep cut on the arm that has not healed there is a transmission risk. Also if you use someone else’s cum as lube when wanking, then you can risk HIV entering the tip of your cock and getting into your bloodstream

Bottom or top partner
While the risk of HIV transmission during unprotected anal sex is not as high for the top (the person doing the fucking) as it is for the bottom (the person being fucked), there are large numbers of men who have become HIV positive as the top or active partner during unprotected anal sex. It’s important to note that HIV is present in anal mucous and can enter the tip of the cock of the person doing the fucking or through cuts or scratches on the cock.

Withdrawal (pulling out before cumming) does not protect your sexual partner from getting HIV. If you're an HIV positive guy who likes to fuck, you can pass on HIV through your pre-cum, even if you pull your cock out of his arse before you cum. (Pre-cum is the sticky lubricating fluid that seeps from your cock during arousal).

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