The stories that inspired MSM to become participatory agents of change within their communities ‰- where men share intimate details about their sexual practices, drug use, becoming HIV positive and everything in between.


This presentation explores unexpected outcomes and learnings from the Staying Negative Campaign – both through anecdotal feedback and from an evaluation undertaken in 2017. The campaign was initially developed in 2004 to address everyday issues that affect the overall health and well being of gay and bisexual men who have sex with men (MSM), including trans men, through the sharing of personal stories. This campaign exists on the premise that our main goal is to help reduce HIV transmissions within our community, with an understanding that individuals don‰’t always live according to ‰best practice‰ when it comes to sex, drugs, relationships and everything in between. Whilst the themes drawn from personal narratives can inform future health interventions, an unexpected outcome of the campaign was the huge positive impact and therapeutic effect it had on the participants who shared their story – both from the face-to-face ‰interview‰ as well as publishing their final story on Staying Negative. Whilst it was not initially the main focus of the campaign, it has proven to be a powerful aspect. This presentation will explore the outcomes that unfolded from sharing their personal story on a public platform and how the participants had an overwhelming positive experience from participating in the campaign.


Jessie Wong |

Jessie started working at VAC in 2014 as she was completing her Master in Public Health. The majority of her work consists of the development and implementation of HIV prevention /sexual health campaigns as well as work in the harm reduction space around drug use and sex, predominantly for MSM.