Asian Gay Men

We’re here to help gay, bisexual and same sex attracted men from Asian cultural backgrounds take control of their health.

We provide information on relevant health issues, and we offer a range of specific and general services delivered by caring people who genuinely understand the health issues affecting Asian gay men.

Our Work With Asian Gay Men

GAM-HF

We’re here to help gay men from Asian cultural backgrounds take control of their health by providing a range of programs, workshops, resources and events.

We’re committed to:

  • Understanding and reducing the impact of HIV and STIs among Asian gay men in NSW
  • Understanding and addressing health and wellbeing issues which are specific to Asian gay men in NSW
  • Strengthening the community networks for Asian gay men in NSW by partnering with groups and organisations which support them

For more information, please contact us: asia@acon.org.au

 

 

ConversAsians

ConversAsians, a support group for gay men from Asian backgrounds is back in 2017!

It provides a safe space for Asian gay men to meet new people, share stories and discuss our issues. We aim to develop healthy and engaged Asian Gay Men communities.

This time we will talk about sex, but WHAT’S SAFE SEX?

There are now more ways you can do it… ‘Safe sex’ for gay men can now mean Condoms, PrEP or Undetectable (UVL) or a combination. That’s ACON’s latest campaign in 2017: https://endinghiv.org.au/nsw/stay-safe/

So, How Do You Do It?

To know more, we’ve invited the campaign planner to talk about the campaign, one of the models to share his story, our peers on PrEP and positive stories of living with HIV.

It’s also a good chance to meet new friends. You can’t miss it!

Nibbles and soft drinks are provided.
When: Wednesday 29 March, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: ACON  |  414 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills
RSVP: 
Click Here

For further information, please contact: asia@acon.org.au | 02 9206 2080 | 0419 714 213


Follow and like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ACONAsianGayMensHealth

Asian Gay Men’s Community Survey

GAM-CS

ACON and UNSW are conducting a comprehensive survey of HIV prevention needs among gay men and men who have sex with men of Asian background living in Sydney.

If you are 18 or above, have sex with other men and are Asian, please go online and help us by filling in the survey.

For more information, please contact us: asia@acon.org.au | (02) 9206 2080

To participate in the survey, click here.

 

 

HIV & STI Prevention

HIV Basics

whatisHIV

What Is HIV & AIDS?

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The virus affects the body’s immune system, its main defense against disease. If untreated, HIV weakens the immune system over time, leaving the person who has HIV open to other life-threatening infections.

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome which refers to the range of specific illnesses that a person with HIV may get when their immune system becomes weakened by HIV. It’s possible to have HIV for many years before getting any of the illnesses usually associated with AIDS. For those on effective HIV treatments, the likelihood of receiving an AIDS diagnosis is very small.

Who Does HIV Affect?

HIV can affect anyone. However in New South Wales, the group most affected by HIV is gay and bisexual men who account for around 75% of new HIV diagnoses.

How Is HIV Transmitted?

HIV is transmitted when infected body fluids (blood, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk or anal mucus) pass from a person with HIV into the bloodstream of an uninfected person.

HIV can be transmitted in a number of ways, but for gay men, anal sex without condoms is the most common way. Other forms of transmission include vaginal sex without condoms and sharing of drug injecting equipment.

How Does HIV Affect Health?

HIV causes significant damage to the immune system over time when left untreated, although the precise impact can vary from person to person. Among other things, a damaged immune system can impact on a person’s ability to fight off infections and illnesses. When someone contracts HIV they may experience something called a ‘seroconversion illness’ which is associated with flu like symptoms. Not everyone will get this illness.

Being on appropriate treatment can reduce the risk of developing a range of health conditions associated with HIV. Studies indicate that starting treatment very soon after infection can make a significant difference.

Many people with HIV consider the condition a manageable illness. With appropriate care, treatment and support, the impact on a person’s health and life expectancy can be greatly reduced.

Find out more about HIV prevention, testing and treatment on our Ending HIV website

HIV Prevention Basics

whodoesHIVeffect

While condoms remain the most effective means of preventing HIV transmission, other useful methods are also available.

Condoms & Lube

Condoms prevent or reduce the exchange of semen, vaginal fluid or blood between partners during sex. When used with lube, condoms are a highly effective way to ‘stay safe’ and prevent HIV transmission.

Condoms also offer protection against a range of other sexually transmissible infections (STIs). They do this by preventing the transfer of bodily fluids or by covering affected genital areas.

Find out more about using condoms and staying safe

Risk Reduction Strategies

In addition to the use of condoms and lube, there are a range of other strategies that reduce, but don’t eliminate, the risk of HIV transmission.

These strategies include: ensuring HIV-negative partners are insertive (i.e. the ‘top’); ensuring partners have the same HIV status (i.e. pos-pos or neg-neg); and ensuring HIV-positive partners have an undetectable viral load. All these strategies carry risks that vary according to practice and circumstance.

Find out more about risk reduction strategies

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a month-long course of HIV drugs that you can take very soon after sex which had a risk of HIV transmission – and definitely within 72 hours. The drugs are the same ones taken by people with HIV.

If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, call the 24-hour PEP Hotline as soon as possible – 1800 PEP NOW or 1800 737 669 (inside NSW). Staff on the Hotline will help you find out if you’re eligible for PEP and where you can get it.

You can get PEP from hospital accident and emergency departments, sexual health clinics or doctors who specialise in HIV.

Find out more about PEP

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is the use of HIV medication to keep HIV negative people from contracting HIV. Taking PrEP on a daily basis will ensure that you have enough of the medication in your body to prevent you from becoming infected with HIV if you are exposed.

PrEP offers a high degree of protection, but it’s not 100% effective. Also, PrEP doesn’t prevent the transmission of other STIs, which can, in turn, increase the possibility of HIV infection. As such, people who are using PrEP should consider maintaining condom use, particularly for casual partners.

PrEP is not currently approved for use in Australia, although since mid-2014, it became available in a limited way through research projects in some states including NSW.

Find out more about PrEP

HIV Testing

Knowing your HIV status is now easy as, and it’s vital to efforts to end HIV transmission in NSW by 2020.

Benefits of Testing

Many new HIV transmissions in NSW occur because some gay men think they’re negative when they’re actually positive. That’s because it can take years before HIV symptoms are noticeable. Testing regularly so you know your HIV status allows you to protect your health and the health of your sexual partners.

If you find out you have HIV, you can then take steps to benefit your health, including talking to your doctor about treatment. There are plenty of services available to assist you with a new HIV diagnosis, including many provided by ACON.

Getting gay men to test more is vital to our goal of ending HIV transmission in NSW by 2020. You can help out by getting tested at least twice a year, or up to four times a year if you have more than 10 different partners in 6 months or have sex without condoms.

Getting Tested

Now that rapid HIV testing is available in NSW, testing for HIV is easier than ever, with results available in under 30 minutes.

You can get tested for HIV at any of ACON’s a[TEST] facilities (see below) or any medical or sexual health clinic in NSW.

There are other testing technologies that are being assessed for use in Australia, such as home-based testing kits. More information will be provided on these as they become available.

a[TEST]

ACON provides a range of FREE community-based rapid HIV and STI screening services for gay men in Sydney and in selected regional locations in NSW. To find out more or to make an appointment to get tested in Sydney, please visit www.atest.org.au.

  • Oxford St: 167 Oxford St. Darlinghurst Mon – Fri, 11am – 7pm + Sat 11:30am – 2:30pm
  • Newtown: 222 King St. Mon & Tue 4:20pm – 7:20pm
  • Surry Hills: 414 Elizabeth St. Wed & Thu 3pm – 6:30pm
  • Kings Cross: 180 Victoria St. Sat, 3:30pm – 6:30pm

Gay Men’s Sexual Health Basics

DramaDownUnder

Sexually transmissible infections (STIs) are infections that are transmitted during sex through body contact or the exchange of body fluids (i.e. blood, mucus or saliva). Sexual contact includes vaginal or anal intercourse or touching, fingering or sucking/kissing/licking a penis, vagina or anus.

STIs can be caused by viruses (e.g. HIV, herpes, genital warts), bacteria (e.g. chlamydia, gonorrhoea), or parasites (e.g. crabs, scabies).

If you manage your sexual health and play it safe you can significantly reduce your risk of getting an STI, or passing it on to a sexual partner.

Infection rates for some STIs – such as HIV, gonorrhoea and syphilis – are much higher among gay men than in the general population.

The best way to prevent HIV transmission among men is to have safe sex by using a condom and water based lubricant for anal sex.

Using condoms can also help prevent the transmission of some other STIs, but not all STIs.

The Drama Down Under website provides information about some of the most common STIs experienced by gay men (HIV-positive or HIV-negative). The site also has information for gay men about testing for and treating STIs.

 

Workshops For Gay Men

We offer a range of FREE workshops for same sex attracted men (gay, bisexual, or curious).

Participating in a workshop is a great way to make new friends in a safe social environment and to learn more about identity, coming out, sex and sexual health, HIV, relationships, the LGBTI community and other relevant topics. There are usually between 10-14 guys in each group.

Our workshops are facilitated by trained professional volunteers and run over 2 – 6 sessions, depending on the workshop. Workshops happen at the ACON offices in central Sydney and selected regional offices.

The below workshops are for all gay men. We also run other workshops for young gay men aged 18-26.

 

Upcoming Workshops

We are currently seeking participants for the below workshops. Once enough participants have enrolled, dates for the workshop will be confirmed.

Arse-Class

Arse Class

Arse Class is a free, six week peer education workshop for gay men who want to know more about anal sex and sexual health. The topics covered in the workshop include anal health, anatomy and preparation for bottoming. It also covers anal orgasm and sexual positions, and prevention of HIV and other STI’s.
Duration: 6 sessions
Where: ACON Sydney
When: Dates TBA
Time:  6 30pm to 9 30pm.
Sign up here

 

Better-Sex

Better Sex

Better Sex is a six week workshop designed for all gay men. We will talk about how we feel about sex, how we can negotiate and access better sexual encounters and relationships. You will learn how to have more pleasurable sex in a way that enhances your overall health and wellbeing. The workshop will cover from oral and anal pleasure to other more adventurous activities. You will also hear from a well experienced panel in the final week.
Duration: 6 sessions
Where: ACON Sydney
When: Dates TBA
Time:  6 30pm to 9 30pm.
Sign up here

 

Looking-For-Mr-Right

Looking for Mr Right

Looking for Mr Right is a six week workshop designed for single gay men. You will learn about enhancing your communication skills, the dating do’s and don’ts, HIV, sexual health and intimacy. You’ll also hear from a panel of men who have different experiences of being in a variety of relationship types.
Duration: 6 sessions
Where: ACON Sydney
When: Dates TBA
Time:  6 30pm to 9 30pm.
Sign up here

 

Getting-Together

Getting Together

Getting Together provides an opportunity to discuss our identities and values with a group of like-minded same sex attracted men. This will explore all the different types of relationships we have in life such as friendships, partners and casual encounters. As a group we learn how best to communicate within social networks, both online and offline. We also look at sexual health, substance usage and HIV within our community.
Duration: 6 sessions
Where: ACON Sydney
When: Dates TBA
Time:  6 30pm to 9 30pm.
Sign up here

 

YGM-workshop-headers-SMS-Arabic

Start Making Sense – Arabic & Middle Eastern speaking background
The Young Gay Men’s Project is offering a FREE WORKSHOP for same-sex attracted guys from an Arabic or Middle Eastern background. The workshop is run by peer volunteers and explores identity, coming out, cultural expectations, relationships, friendships and community.

Duration: 6 sessions
Where: ACON Sydney
When: Dates TBA
Time:  6 30pm to 9 30pm.
Sign up here

Find Out More

For more information about any of our gay health workshops or express interest in attending, please contact us: 1800 063 060 | (02) 9206 2075 | groups@acon.org.au

Workshops for Young Gay Men

We offer a range of FREE workshops for young same sex attracted men (gay, bisexual, curious) aged 18 – 26.

Participating in a workshop is a great way to make new friends in a safe social environment and to learn more about identity, coming out, sex and sexual health, HIV, relationships, the LGBTI community and other relevant topics. There are usually between 10-14 guys in each group.

Our workshops are facilitated by trained professional volunteers and run over 2 – 6 sessions, depending on the workshop. Workshops happen at the ACON offices in central Sydney and selected regional offices.

Sign up for a workshop here

 

Upcoming Workshops

We’re currently seeking participants for the below workshop/s. Once enough participants have enrolled, dates for the workshop will be confirmed.

SMS-westernsydney

Start Making Sense – Western Sydney

This a free workshop for young gay men aged 18 to 26.

We are teaming up with Headspace Parramatta to deliver a Start Making Sense workshop about the gay community, coming out, sexual health, friends and relationships.

The workshop will help you understand:

  • Identity – what it means to be gay and young
  • Explore the process of coming out with a group of peers
  • Learn about the gay community, the scene and how to develop social networks
  • Explore friendships, relationships and communication skills with a group a peer
  • Learn about HIV and sexual health

Date: TBA
Duration: 6 sessions over 6 weeks
Time: 6 30pm to 9 30pm
Where: 2 Wentworth St, Parramatta (Headspace)
Sign up here

 

YGM-workshop-headers-SMS-Arabic

Start Making Sense – Arabic & Middle Eastern speaking background
The Young Gay Men’s Project is offering a FREE WORKSHOP, specifically for young (18 – 30) same-sex attracted guys from an Arabic or Middle Eastern background. The workshop is run by peer volunteers and explores identity, coming out, cultural expectations, relationships, friendships and community. If you are interested contact youth@acon.org.au

Date: TBA
Duration: 6 sessisons over 6 weeks
Time: 630pm to 9 30pm
Where: ACON 414 Elizabeth Street Surry Hills, Sydney
Sign up here

 

adultthemes2

Adult Themes

Explore attraction. Deepen your understanding of issues around sex, sexuality and dating. Get tips and techniques about how to have better sex, and how to safely explore the more adventurous side of sexuality. This workshop covers anal pleasure and health, sex toys and adventurous play. It explores how and where to get the kind of sex you want, sexual attitudes, values, intimacy, relationships, communication. You’ll even get to hear from a panel of guys in the know.

Date: Every Tuesday from 24 January
Duration: 6 sessions over 6 weeks
Time: 6 30pm to 9 30pm
Where: ACON 414 Elizabeth Street Surry Hills, Sydney
Sign up: groups@acon.org.au

 

GettingItOnline

Getting It Online

Learn tips and techniques for setting up an effective gay networking profile. Make new friends while exploring popular mobile apps/websites to gain the kind of experiences you want! Discuss the advantages and challenges of using the internet for finding mates, dates and sex, and investigate our social values relating to online etiquette and sexual discrimination. We’ll also talk about how to stay safe when hooking up!

Date: TBA
Duration: 3 sessions over 3 weeks
Time: 6 30pm to 9 30pm
Where: ACON 414 Elizabeth Street Surry Hills, Sydney
Sign up: groups@acon.org.au

 

StartMakingSense

Start Making Sense

This a free workshop for young gay men aged 18 to 26.

The workshop will help you understand:

  • Identity – what it means to be gay and young
  • Explore the process of coming out with a group of peers
  • Learn about the gay community, the scene and how to develop social networks
  • Explore friendships, relationships and communication skills with a group a peer
  • Learn about HIV and sexual health

Date: TBA
Duration: 6 sessions over 6 weeks
Time: 6 30pm to 9 30pm
Where: ACON 414 Elizabeth Street Surry Hills, Sydney
Sign up: groups@acon.org.au

 

SMS-online

Start Making Sense – Regional & Rural Online

We’re here for young gay men. Join our online Start Making Sense workshop.

This workshop is for young gay and same-sex attracted men aged 18-26 who live in rural and regional areas.

It is an opportunity to meet other young guys around NSW, learn more about identity, coming out, HIV and sexual health.

You will need a computer or smartphone to access the content of the workshop each week and participate in the group discussion.

The workshop is scheduled to begin in early June.

Date: TBA
Duration:
6 sessions over 6 weeks
Time:
630pm to 830pm
Where:
Online

 

Cruising-101 (2)

Cruising 101

Ever wanted to find out more about gay saunas, but were too afraid to ask? Cruising 101 is an exclusive, behind-the-scenes 2-day crash course in how to use saunas and sex clubs. Learn how to cruise, respectfully reject unwanted advances, minimise risk, maximise pleasure and stay safe in the cruising environment.

Duration: 6 sessions
Where: Sydney and selected regional offices
When: Dates TBA

 

Find Out More
For more info, please contact us: 1800 063 060 | (02) 9206 2076 | youth@acon.org.au

Gay Friendly GPs

Friendly GP

When it comes to sexual health, lots of gay men like to speak with a supportive doctor who understands the ins and outs of gay sex.

Download a full list of Gay Friendly GPs here

 

Free Condoms

Get It On!

Condoms prevent or reduce the exchange of semen, vaginal fluid or blood between partners during sex. When used with lube, condoms are a highly effective way to ‘stay safe’ and prevent HIV transmission.

Condoms also offer protection against a range of other sexually transmissible infections (STIs). They do this by preventing the transfer of bodily fluids or by covering affected genital areas.

To help prevent the transmission of HIV and other STIs, we distribute over 230,000 condoms and safe sex packs every year to a range of community venues, clinics and events, and we supply venues with ACON Toolboxes which we regularly stock with safe sex packs.

To find out where you can get our free condoms and safe sex packs, please visit our Ending HIV website.

To get free condoms at your community venue, event or clinic, please contact your nearest ACON office.

 

Play Zone – Sex On Premises Venue Code Of Practice

What is the ACON PlayZone Sex on Premises Venue Code of Practice?

The ACON PlayZone Sex on Premises Venue Code of Practice is a voluntary partnership project between ACON and Sex on Premises Venues (SOPV).

Compliance with the PlayZone Code ensures that patrons of SOPVs have a right to be treated with respect while in the venues, to practice safe, consensual sex and access to sexual health information.

The PlayZone Code also ensures that venue staff and customers have the right to accurate and up to date information about safe sex, HIV/AIDS and STI prevention and education.

PlayZone

When you see this sign you’re entering a PlayZone Code partner venue. That means the venue agrees to both work within the PlayZone Code and to be assessed for compliance by ACON.

The ACON PlayZone Code includes:

The Customers:

  • Free condoms and lube will be made available at all times.
  • Free condoms and lube will be accessible near areas like the darkroom.
  • Information leaflets on sexual health, clinics, HIV and STIs will be available.
  • Information leaflets will be accessible near areas with good lighting.

The Venue:

  • Lighting is appropriate enough so you can read the resources available; find the free condoms and lube; so staff can clean properly and so you can see where you are going.
  • Cleaning is done properly, with the right equipment so you don’t get messier than you want to.

The Staff:

  • Will be trained in the basics of sexual health, as well as drugs and alcohol, and will be able to show you where the information leaflets are within the venue if you need them.
  • Will be able to help you if you need basic information on sexual health or drugs and alcohol.
  • Will also be able to give you information on sexual health clinics.

ACON PlayZone SOPV Code of Practice Materials

Feedback on the ACON PlayZone SOPV of Practice

  • If you have any feedback, comments or wish to report any information regarding a SOPV in relation to the PlayZone Code, please contact us: playzone@acon.org.au
  • Please note participation in the PlayZone Code is voluntary.  ACON will deal with all comments received regarding the PlayZone Code and SOPVs confidentially. Information from the comments provided may also be passed on to the SOPV managers and staff for response.
  • If you require a response from ACON staff please provide your contact details.

ACON PlayZone Venues

These venues are committed to the PlayZone Code of Practice:

  • 357 Sydney City Steam
  • Adult World Newtown
  • Aarows
  • Bodyline
  • Headquaters
  • Mr X Adult Lifestyle
  • The Den Oxford Street
  • The Pleasure Den Kings Cross
  • The Pleasure Chest George Street
  • The Pleasure Lounge Oxford Street
  • Signal

ACON Sexperts

sexperts

Our Sexperts are peer education volunteers who visit sex on premises venues and have discussions with the customers about sexual health, HIV and STI testing, and other relevant topics.

We already have a really committed and fun group of volunteers which we are looking to add to as we expand the project to new premises.

To express interest in becoming a Sexpert contact us on: 1800 063 060 | (02) 9206 2075  | groups@acon.org.au

 

 

General Support & Services

HIV Support

We’re here to help Asian gay men with HIV take control of their health by providing up-to-date information as well as a range of programs and services. To find out more please visit our HIV Support section.

Mental Health

We provide a range of counselling  and community care services for Asian gay men, including those with HIV or who use drugs. To find out more please visit our Mental Health section.

Alcohol & Drugs

We provide a range of resources and support services to help Asian gay men who use alcohol and other drugs. To find out more please visit our Alcohol & Drugs section.

Safety & Inclusion

We provide a range of resources and support services to help Asian gay men who are experiencing homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination. To find out more please visit our Safety & Inclusion section.

Domestic & Family Violence

We provide a range of resources and support services to help Asian gay men who are experiencing domestic and family violence. To find out more please visit our Domestic & Family Violence section.

Ageing

We provide a range of resources and support services for older Asian gay men (50+). To find out more please visit our Ageing section.