Regional NSW

We’re here to help LGBTQ people and people with HIV in regional NSW take control of their health by providing a range of local services and supporting a variety of local community groups.

Regional Services Map

Our ACON Regional Services map will help you find local sexual health clinics (orange pin), LGBTIQ+ community groups (rainbow pin), Aboriginal community health services (Aboriginal flag pin) and the services offered at each of our ACON offices.

Any questions or updates can be sent to


Care Coordination Regional NSW

Molesworth_Street,_Lismore (1)Our Care Coordinators are allied health professionals who can help clients with multiple and/or complex needs to:

  • Access relevant healthcare services
  • Increase their ability to manage their care and treatment
  • Reduce social isolation

Needs may include:

  • HIV
  • Mental health
  • Alcohol and/or drug use
  • Housing
  • Family/domestic violence
  • Finances
  • Legal

Care coordinators work with clients over 3 months to develop a care plan and provide support to help clients achieve their goals and meet their needs

The service is FREE and confidential.

Priority is given to people with HIV, and people at risk or affected by HIV

Our Care Coordinators work in the Hunter and Northern Rivers regions.

To access this service, you will need to undergo a brief assessment in person or over the phone.

For more information or to undertake a brief assessment please contact our Hunter or Northern Rivers offices or submit an enquiry.

Counselling Regional NSW

atsi-webWe provide FREE and confidential short term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for:

  • People with HIV
  • People at risk of HIV
  • People affected by HIV (e.g. partners, family and friends).
  • People testing for HIV
  • LGBTI people

We prioritise:

  • People newly diagnosed with HIV
  • Financially disadvantaged people
  • People experiencing health or relationship needs related to HIV
  • People experiencing the effects of a recent trauma, domestic/family violence or homophobic/transphobic violence

Counsellors use a solutions focused model drawing on a range of approaches to best meet the needs of individuals and couples

To access this service, you will need to undergo a brief assessment in person or over the phone.

For more information or to undertake a brief assessment please contact your nearest ACON office or submit an enquiry.

Needle and Syringe Program Regional NSW

NSPThrough our Needle & Syringe Program (NSP), we provide FREE sterile injecting equipment and health promotion services to people who inject drugs. This helps reduce the transmission of blood borne viruses such HIV and Hep C and other related injecting related risks.

Our NSPs provide the following:

  • FREE sterile injecting equipment
  • Disposal of used equipment
  • Access to advice, support and relevant health information (e.g. HIV, Hep C, Safer practices)
  • Referral to internal and external services
  • Access to condoms

Our NSPs are located at our offices in Newcastle and Lismore.

Coronavirus update: 

Due to the COVID-19 situation, ACON opening hours have been temporarily reduced. Current operating hours are:

  • ACON Sydney (414 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills): Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm
  • ACON Hunter (129 Maitland Road, Islington): Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays | 10am – 2pm
  • ACON Northern Rivers (Suite 4P Conway Court, 17 Conway Street, Lismore): Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays | 10am – 2pm

Sexual Health Clinic Regional NSW

Sexual Health ClinicWe provide a FREE community-based HIV and STI screening service for gay, bi and queer men (cis and trans) and their sexual partners, sex workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people who inject drugs and people at risk of HIV in Newcastle.

This service is an outreach of the Pacific Clinic (Hunter New England Local Health Districts Sexual Health Clinic).

This clinic operates on:

  • Tuesday           3:30 pm – 6pm
  • Thursday         11:00 am – 6pm

To find out more please contact our Hunter office.

To find out where to get tested in rural and regional NSW, please visit our ENDING HIV search page to find a location closest to you.

Labrys Project

Promoting the health and wellbeing of lesbian, bisexual, queer and same sex attracted women living in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven.

The labrys is a double-headed axe, which became a symbol of strength and self-sufficiency for the lesbian and feminist movements in the 1970’s. The labrys continues to represent the pride and strength of our communities today.

In 2014 and 2015, ACON and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District partnered to establish the Labrys Project.

The project conducted a community based survey, a series of focus groups, delivered mental health first aid training and developed a resource to explore issues affecting the lives of lesbian, bisexual, queer (LBQ) and same sex attracted women living in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven.

LBQ and same sex attracted women can face a range of factors that impact their health and wellbeing in unique ways.

Check out the research report here and access the As Women We Can’ resource here

Regional Outreach

ACON provides outreach to regional areas of NSW to extend the reach of our services, campaigns and health messages.  We seek to provide a regular connection and build relationships with regional LGBTI communities and people with HIV. Our outreach teams visit regularly to:


  • Promote HIV and sexual health testing, treatment and care
  • Provide safe sex information and resources
  • Promote a positive experience of sexual health
  • Deliver information and education about HIV, sexual health, the LGBTI experience and LGBTI health
  • Support referrals to appropriate services within ACON and locally
  • Advocate for an informed, healthy, resilient and inclusive LGBTI community


If you are in the Northern Rivers

Please contact:

If you are in the Hunter, New England, Central West NSW or Central Coast regions

Please contact:

If you are in Southern NSW, Far West NSW, the Hawkesbury, Nepean or Blue Mountains regions

Please contact:

Substance Support Counselling Regional NSW


We provide confidential FREE short-term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for sexuality and gender diverse people and people with HIV seeking support in relation to their use of alcohol and other drugs.

Our counsellors work from a harm reduction approach to assist clients reach their goals to manage use, reduce or quit.

This service is offered face to face in Sydney. It is also available via telehealth for individuals living in Sydney or across regional NSW.

To access this service, you will need to undergo a brief assessment in person or over the phone.

For more information or to undertake a brief assessment please contact our Sydney office or submit an enquiry.

Coronavirus update: Due to social distancing requirements, all ACON counselling and support services will be conducted virtually or over the phone.

Hunter Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Community Resources

These guides can be shared online and printed. For more information contact ACON Hunter on 02 4962 7700 or

  • Arabic

  • Chinese (Simplified)

  • Chinese (Traditional)

  • Dari
  • English
  • Macedonian
  • Pashto

Regional PrEP guides

ACON is compiling localised Community PrEP Guides to help community members living in regional NSW navigate the local healthcare system. We are contacting GPs in regional NSW who are/would be interested in prescribing PrEP and who would like to be included in these guides.

What is PrEP?

As of 2018, a combination treatment of antiretroviral medications tenofovir & emtricitabine was placed on the PBS as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), available to HIV-negative community members at higher risk of acquiring HIV. Any GP is able to prescribe PrEP as per the clinical guidelines set by the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM)

Why do we need localised Community PrEP Guides?

As not all GPs prescribe PrEP, the purpose of compiling the Community PrEP Guide is to provide community members with a list of clinics where they can access PrEP in their local area. We aim to reduce the barriers faced by community members when accessing this medication by assisting them in navigating the health system whilst making informed decisions regarding their health.

Community PrEP Guides currently available:

Please fill out the form below if you are interested in being included in a localised guide listing PrEP-prescribing GP clinics.


HIV Health Retreats


We run two FREE health retreats every year for people with HIV – one for gay men living in regional and rural NSW and one for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Ngalawi Djardi Health Retreat For Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People Living With HIV

This annual health retreat aims to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with HIV by providing:

  • Culturally appropriate respite and relaxation
  • An opportunity to connect and share stories with other HIV positive people
  • Opportunities to share culture, art and good yarns
  • Access to professional workers, treatments and other support services

The name, Ngalawi Djardi means ‘sit and yarn’ in Dharug language. The retreat is facilitated by Aboriginal workers, with non-Indigenous guest presenters and counsellors. Sessions are voluntary so you can participate in as little or as many sessions as you wish.

The retreat is particularly valuable for those living in rural and regional areas of NSW who may not have regular access to HIV support services in their area.

All aspects of the retreat are conducted in the strictest confidentiality and the privacy of all participants is respected.

Each participant is welcome to bring a support person (partner, friend or family member). The support person need not be Aboriginal or living with HIV.

Our retreats are held in motel-style accommodation in a peaceful location just outside Sydney. All transport from ACON, accommodation and meals are provided. People who need assistance with transport to Sydney are encouraged to talk to us as soon as possible so that we can assist you to seek travel assistance.

The next retreat is scheduled for Friday 30 October to Monday 2 November. Interested people must contact us by 31 September at the details below so that we can assist you with your application.

For more information or to get involved, please contact us at email: or call | 1800 063 060 | (02) 9206 2042


Health Retreat For Regional/Rural Gay Men With HIV

Every year we invite participants from regional/rural NSW and South East Queensland to come to our relaxed bush venue underneath the magnificent Wollumbin with other guys living with HIV in rural NSW.

We’ve been hosting our retreat for guys living with HIV since 1994. The retreat is open to gay men with HIV and their partners.

We expect that gay men of all ages and history of HIV will attend from regional NSW and from SE Queensland. In previous retreats all our participants have contributed to making it a great retreat experience.

It provides a nice mix of structured activities, lots of free time and fantastic food and good company. This year we’ll have a stimulating workshop program on staying fit and well with HIV, and also will be offering yoga classes. We’ll have a great range of leisure activities: canoeing, bushwalking, and ball games.

The retreat is a residential retreat and participants have the choice of accommodation: either sleeping in your own camp gear or in comfortable shared bungalow accommodation. You are able to nominate which when you register.

For more information contact |  02 6622 1555  |  Freecall 1800 633 637

‘Life in Colour’ – LGBTQ+ Art Prize & Virtual Exhibition

As an LGBTQ+ peer-based organisation, ACON, along with our event partners, The City of Newcastle and Awabakal Ltd, understand that many people of diverse sexualities and genders live joyful and fulfilling lives. However, we also know that LGBTQ+ communities experience exclusion, discrimination, and poorer social and health outcomes at higher rates than many other populations. Social exclusion and erasure of the LGBTQ+ perspective are two significant factors that lead to poorer mental health and wellbeing. As part of our commitment to address this inequity, we partnered with the City of Newcastle and Awabakal Ltd. to create the first of what we hope will be many future Life in Colour art prizes and exhibitions.

To view the complete list of artworks, please visit Life in Colour page.

‘Safe & Sound’ ACON Podcast

Safe & Sound is ACON’s brand new sexual health podcast. In this series we discuss the current status of HIV in regional NSW through the lens of testing, treatment and prevention. Tune in to listen to some awesome experts and community members talk to us about how to navigate safe sex in 2022.

Episode 1: TESTING

EPISODE 1 – TESTING | Podcast on Spotify

EPISODE 1 – TESTING on Apple Podcasts

TESTING is an essential part of the equation that will help us reduce HIV transmissions. Getting tested in regional NSW comes with its own challenges, so listen in for the latest info on how to overcome them and take big steps to look after your sexual health.

Our guests will be talking about the latest TESTING campaign, how we are jumping back in the saddle post covid and also give us tips on how to manage testing in regional towns.

Check out our website for more info on how to get tested, including a self testing service, you[TEST].

To end HIV transmission, we need to test often. It’s easier than ever to get tested for HIV, with rapid HIV tests you could know your status in 30 minutes.


ACON Northern Rivers


Suite 4P Conway Court,
17 Conway Street,
Lismore 2480
(next to Lismore Post Office and near Lismore Memorial Baths)

Office Hours:
9am-5pm, Monday-Friday

Tel: 02 6622 1555
Freecall: 1800 063 060


ACON Hunter


129 Maitland Road
Islington 2296

Office Hours:

  • 9am-5pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • 9am-6pm Tuesday, Thursday

Tel: 02 4962 7700
Freecall: 1800 063 060


Important Notice for ACON Visitors

To ensure the health and wellbeing of our clients, staff and volunteers, the following COVID-Safe guidelines are in place for all visitors to ACON offices and sites:

  • Do not visit if you are undergoing the self-isolation period or have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Do not visit if you are unwell or have a dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, high temperature or fever, body aches or pains
  • When visiting, please provide us with your contact details and give us permission to provide them to NSW Health if they ask us to do so for the purpose of contact tracing
  • Maintain a distance of 1.5m between yourself and other people at all times
  • Follow physical distancing signage and orders as illustrated throughout the premises
  • Practise good hygiene – hand sanitiser is provided at all ACON offices and sites

ACON Regional Outreach

Southern and Far West Regions
Tel: 02 9206 2114 | 1800 063 060



Sign up here to our newsletter/s to receive the latest on news, programs and events.