Women

We’re here to help women in LGBTQ communities 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 women in LGBTQ communities.

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community and you need safe sex supplies, we can post them to you anywhere in NSW (free!). Find out more and order here.

COVID-19 and Our Communities

There are a lot of questions about COVID-19 and what it means for people from sexuality and gender diverse communities and people living with HIV. ACON has compiled a number of resources and links to provide our communities with the latest information on COVID-19, you can find them here.

Scroll down the page for information on a range of topics including support services, sex and COVID-19, and tips on protecting yourself and others.

Women’s Sexual Health

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Women in LGBTQ communities (cis and trans) are diverse and our sexual health needs depend on the kind of sex we’re having.

The best way to manage your sexual health is to learn about your options for playing safe and get regular sexual health checks.

Check OUT: LGBTQ+ Sexual Health Clinic is a safe and inclusive clinic for our communities. We offer HIV/STI screening and/or cervical screening for all LGBTQ+ people. Check OUT provides trauma-informed care and is sex-positive and sex work friendly. The clinic is staffed by LGBTQ+ peer workers and expert sexual health nurses. Book online or find out more: www.checkout.org.au

There is still some misinformation in our communities that women who have sex with women are not at risk of STIs. Infection rates among women who have sex with women are actually estimated to be the same as heterosexual women, but current research shows that 37% of women in the LGBTIQ community have never had an STI test, despite the vast majority being sexually active.

The Play Safe website has a top five tips for safe sex between women and if you need safe sex supplies and are a member of the LGBTQ community we can post them to you anywhere in NSW (free!). Find out more and order here.

Seeing a GP

There are many local doctors, counsellors and health services that provide great, holistic services to the LGBTQ community:

The Australian Lesbian Medical Association (ALMA) compiles an up to date list of doctors and mental health professionals who are recommended by lesbian and bisexual women. This is a national project. There are currently around 90 doctors and mental health professionals on the list, including GPs and specialists, metropolitan and rural doctors.

ANZPATH (Australian and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health) has a list of service providers in NSW.

Women’s Health NSW is a collective of non-government, community based women’s health and specialist centres. All centres are feminist services that provide choices for women to determine their individual health needs. The site provides a list of women’s health centres that you can access by calling for an appointment.

If you’re trans, you can also look up ACON’s Gender-Affirming GP list to find doctors who will be trans affirming while providing sexual health and gender affirming care. 

Check OUT: LGBTQ+ Sexual Health Clinic

We are sorry to announce that due to COVID-19, Check OUT: LGBTQ+ Clinic will be closed until further notice.

Please do not be concerned, this closure is only temporary, and we look forward to reopening again soon.

We will contact all our clients as soon as we reopen.

If your appointment with Check OUT was urgent, or you have any concerns, please contact our clinical partner, Family Planning NSW.

Family Planning NSW Talkline (staffed by expert sexual health nurses):

1300 658 886 

Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5pm;

or email talkline@fpnsw.org.au

You can also contact the NSW Sexual Health InfoLink, which is run by NSW Health and is staffed by sexual health nurses. You can call them with any questions or concerns about sexual health and/or cervical screening and they can direct you to services for testing in your area:

1800 451 624

Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5.30pm

If you are concerned about COVID-19 or have questions, please visit the NSW Health website or contact Healthdirect on 1800 022 222.

Please take care of yourselves and each other and don’t hesitate to contact us at checkout@acon.org.au

Thank you all,

Check OUT Staff

Breast Cancer

Anyone with breast tissue can get breast cancer regardless of family history, gender identity or sexuality. Join our united front against breast cancer, book a screen today.

Visit canwe.org.au/staying-healthy/breast-screening/

Bowel Cancer

When it comes to bowel cancer screening in our community, we need to get our kit together. If detected early, more than 90% of cases can be treated successfully.

Visit canwe.org.au/staying-healthy/bowel-screening/

Cervical Cancer Screening

Everybody with a cervix is at risk of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, yet studies show that LGBTIQ people are less likely than the general population to attend cervical screening. Having regular Cervical Screening Tests is the best way people in our communities can protect themselves against cervical cancer.

Visit canwe.org.au/staying-healthy/cervical-screening/

If you live in Sydney, you can book in at Check OUT: LGBTIQ+ Sexual Health Clinic for a sexual health check and/or a cervical screening test. Check OUT is a community-led clinic, run by ACON and Family Planning NSW. All our frontline staff are trained members of the LGBTIQ+ community. Learn more about Check OUT at canwe.org.au/referral-options/  

Cancer

We’re here to help women take steps to prevent their risk of cancer and find support after diagnosis and treatment.

To find out more please visit the ‘Cancer’ section on our website or visit ACON’s Can We website.

Silver Sessions: Workshops for Women Aged 55+

SILVER SESSIONS ARE BACK FOR 2022!

Silver Sessions are a series of free workshops for LGBTQ women aged 55+, presented by ACON and City of Sydney. Each workshop has a different focus and will be a fun, social and engaging way to meet people and access information.

Silver Sessions are a chance to come together. Each Silver Session covers different things like a dance class, healthy relationships, a printmaking workshop, women’s health & healthy ageing, and yoga & meditation. This year we’re excited to offer Silver Sessions both in the afternoon and in the evening – there’s no excuses, see you there!

Evening Silver Sessions:
Wednesday 30 March
Wednesday 13 April
Wednesday 27 April
Wednesday 11 May
Time: 6pm – 8:30pm
Afternoon Silver Sessions:
Wednesday 6 April
Wednesday 20 April
Wednesday 4 May
Wednesday 18 May
Time: 2pm – 4:30pm

 
Program
Session 1: Weaving & Mental Health
Session 2: Discussion Group
Session 3: Art Workshop
Session 4: Can We activity plus a discussion about ACON services

Cost: Free

Register your interest here or for more information call Anna Barker on 9206 2188.

Free Safe Sex Packs

NEED SAFE SEX SUPPLIES?

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community and you need safe sex supplies, we can post them to you anywhere in NSW (free!).

Simply complete the form below and we will get your play pack(s) delivered in no time!

If you need bulk supplies for a party, you can also request them from the below form.

If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact: kink@acon.org.au

Community & Social Groups for Women

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The Women’s Coming Out Group is a free, confidential social support group, a safe and friendly place for women who are same-sex attracted, lesbian, gay, bi, queer, questioning or unsure, to meet and talk about various topics around sexuality and other life issues. It is facilitated by trained volunteers of Twenty10 incorporating the Gay and Lesbian Counselling service NSW. Head to the website to find out what happens in a group and to see the list of discussion topics for 2015 groups.

The Australian Lesbian Medical Associations (ALMA) DocLIST website features an extensive list of information and resources to help lesbian, bi and queer women connect with their community and get information on health, legal and human rights issues.

On the list you will find over 600 national and state-based organisations, groups and services and resources. Examples include community events, health services, counselling and support services, social groups, sporting groups, artistic organisations, and young people’s groups.

The ACON Here for Women Facebook pages share news about events, workshops and parties.

SWASH – The Sydney Women and Sexual Health Survey

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The Sydney Women and Sexual Health (SWASH) survey was first carried out in 1996. It was initiated by workers from two ACON projects, Women Partners of Gay and Bisexual Men and the Gay and Lesbian Injecting Drug Use Project, who were faced with a lack of empirical evidence on which to base their intervention work. Research on the health and wellbeing of lesbian, bisexual and queer women (cis and trans) is still scarce.

SWASH is now a comprehensive survey of sexual and gender identity; community connection; smoking, alcohol and drug use; sexual health; psychological wellbeing; experiences of anti-gay, sexual and domestic violence; parenthood intentions; preventive health behaviour including screening; healthcare access and satisfaction.

The survey is run every two years by a collaboration of ACON and researchers at the University of New South Wales (until 2009), and now the University of Sydney (since 2010). SWASH is the longest running and only regular survey of the health and wellbeing of LBQ women (cis and trans) in Australia. In 2010, the survey began running periodically in Perth: Women’s West Australian Sexual Health (WWASH).

For more information and research on the health of women (cis and trans) in Australia, visit The Australian Women’s Health Network’s Women’s Health Hub online library and ACON’s TransHub.

SWASH downloads:

The latest 2020 SWASH report was released on 28th October 2020 as part of a series of Mental Health month events. Register here for upcoming forums on Healthcare and Screening and Alcohol & Drug Use and Mental Health.

Previous SWASH reports:

LGBTIQ Women’s Health Conference

The LGBTIQ Women’s Health Conference focuses on the health and wellbeing needs of all LGBTIQ women within Australian communities. This biennial event offers attendees a wide range of opportunities to discuss, engage with and explore these health needs as well as profile new and emerging research, innovative programs and services being delivered to address these needs in our communities

The next conference will be held on 4 & 5 June 2020 in Sydney.

This event is co-presented by ACON & Thorne Harbour Health.

For more information and to sign up to our newsletter for updates, visit the conference website.

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

 

General Support & Services

Mental Health

We provide a range of counselling  and community care services for lesbians and same sex attracted women, 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 lesbians and same sex attracted women 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 lesbians and same sex attracted women 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 lesbians and same sex attracted women 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 lesbians and same sex attracted women (50+). To find out more please visit our Ageing section.