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.

Genital warts

What is it?

Genital warts are caused by a very common virus called the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Research suggests that most people who have ever been sexually active become infected with HPV at least once in their lifetime.

As the name suggests, genital warts are painless warts that grow around your arse, cock and balls. They are the most easily recognisable symptom of an HPV infection. It can be very hard to know whether you have been infected with HPV as your body can often naturally get rid of the virus before you notice anything.


Warts are small growths that often grow in clusters around the arse, cock or balls. Sometimes the warts can be hard to notice as they can be; skin coloured; be inside the rectum; and be painless. If the warts are inside the arse, you may experience pain or discomfort when shitting, and in severe cases they can cause itching, irritation or start to bleed.


HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact as well as by fucking or through oral sex, although this is less common. It can be transmitted even when you can’t see the warts. Other types of HPV can cause warts in other areas of the body such as hands and feet but these rarely affect the genital area. 


You can’t get rid of HPV from the body completely through treatment but your body usually clears the virus naturally over time. Any symptoms associated with the visible warts such as itching or pain can be treated with self-administered imiquimod cream, although it is not part of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. You can get rid of the visible warts by having a healthcare professional remove them.

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