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 B Virus

What is it?

Hep B is a virus that can damage the liver by causing inflammation which could eventually lead to liver disease.


Hepatitis B infection can often show no symptoms. If you do experience symptoms the most common are mild flu-like symptoms, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, joint and muscle pain and jaundice (yellowing of the skin, eyes or urine). Symptoms can take between 1 and 6 months to show up. In some cases (5%) it can become a chronic infection (more than 6 months in duration), however, most adults will recover completely from hepatitis B. The few that do not clear the virus may be at risk of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer. Once you have fully recovered from hepatitis B it is unlikely you will contract it again.


Hepatitis B is passed on by infected blood or cum through activities like fucking (anal sex), oral sex, arse play, such as fingering, fisting and using anal toys; sharing injecting equipment, toothbrushes, razors, tattooing and body piercing equipment with someone who has the virus. 


There is no cure for hepatitis B, however, the good news is that there is a vaccination available. The vaccine, made up of three injections, is available in isolation or in a combined vaccine which will immunise you against hepatitis A and B. Speak with your doctor about getting tested and being vaccinated.

People with chronic hepatitis B should speak to their doctor about treatment options.

If the infection is considered mild, it may be better to monitor it and think about treatment later. However if left untreated for too long it can lead to serious consequences in liver functioning i.e. liver damage.

For those with liver damage, the doctor may suggest treatment; for others without liver damage it may be best to wait. Treatment does not cure hepatitis B, but it can change an aggressive infection into a mild one, helping to stop the liver from being damaged. People with chronic hepatitis B may be treated with antiviral medication such as lamivudine, adefovir, entecavir, or pegylated interferon.

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