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.

Gonorrhoea (The Clap)

What is it?

Gonorrhoea is a caused by the bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoea, and infects your cock (urethra), arse (rectum), throat or eyes.


Many people with gonorrhoea will often show no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they’re usually where the infection is, such as your cock or arse. Gonorrhoea infections show symptoms more often in the cock, however if it’s in the throat or the arse, the symptoms can often go unnoticed. Symptoms can take between 2-10 days to show up after being exposed.

Symptoms can include:

  • A dry or sore throat.
  • Itchiness and/or pain when shitting.
  • A clear or yellow discharge from your cock.
  • Pain or burning sensation when pissing.
  • An infection in the throat may also cause a discharge, but this is less common.

Why is it called The Clap?

Well there are a number of theories, but the most entertaining one we found suggested that the nickname came from the manner of treatment. This used to involve the penis being clapped between two hands to force the discharge out. Thankfully this treatment is no longer practiced!


Gonorrhoea can be passed on through the exchange of bodily fluids when fucking (anal sex), giving or receiving head (oral sex), or rimming. Furthermore by touching an infected cock or arse with your fingers and then touching your own cock, arse or eyes, you can also transmit gonorrhoea so be mindful of fingering or fisting.


Gonorrhoea can be scary, particularly if you’re experiencing symptoms. Thankfully it’s easily treated with oral antibiotics, an injection or both. The symptoms will start to ease within 24 hours of starting treatment so the sooner you see your doctor the sooner you’ll be back in action. Testing after treatment is a good idea to make sure you’ve definitely cleared the infection as it would be unfortunate if the infection returned.

Try to avoid playing with others until one week after treatment has been completed to prevent passing the infection on to others.

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