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.

Hepatitis A virus

What is it?

Hep A is a type of hepatitis virus that causes a short term (acute) infection to the liver whereby it becomes inflamed. It is more commonly seen in developing countries where hygiene is quite poor but anyone can become infected with Hep A. You can only be infected with Hep A once in your life as you can build up immunity towards it.


Sometimes you could be infected with Hep A and show no symptoms at all. If symptoms do show, they would usually take between 2 – 8 weeks to appear after being infected. Symptoms are also more commonly seen amongst older people at time of infection, than younger people. If symptoms do occur, they may include a loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin, eyes, or urine) and a pain in your right side below your ribs. This acute pain would be from your liver becoming inflamed. 


Hep A is transmitted through the faecal-oral route or by consuming contaminated food or water. The transmission of Hep A is greater where there is poor hygiene and food-handling practices. Transmission occurs through consuming small amounts of shit during activities such as fucking (anal sex), fingering, fisting, arse play and using anal toys. It could also happen unknowingly like through smoking a cigarette after fingering someone so make sure that you practice good hygiene by using latex gloves and/or always washing your hands before and after any activities.


Unfortunately there is no antiviral treatment for Hep A to control the severity of duration of the infection. There are drugs to help control the symptoms associated and treatment plans often offer support in this area for the individual. The affect of Hep A shouldn’t be detrimental to a person’s health unless they’ve already got a liver disease or poor health.

There is a Hep A vaccination that is recommended for travellers going to areas of high prevalence (most developing countries), gay men (men who have sex with men), health care workers, anyone who works with sewage, people with liver disease or with haemophilia.

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