Updated: July, 2015
ABORIGINAL GAY MEN
Everything we have known about HIV has changed – for the better.
We now know that effective treatments can help stop HIV being passed on. New advances in testing and treatment mean ending HIV is within our reach.
WHY WE NEED YOU
Aboriginal guys are unique, with our own culture and identity, but we also share lots in common with other guys – so you might want to check out info for guys who are young, or sexually adventurous, hiv-, hiv+ or in a relationship.
The HIV diagnosis rate for Aboriginal people, adjusted for our smaller population, is around the same as other Australians – thanks to our community being HIV aware and staying safe. Just like other Australians though, our gay and other homosexually active guys are the ones most impacted by HIV.
So Aboriginal guys who have sex with other guys play a huge role in ending HIV. You may not know it but a lot of cases of HIV transmission are from guys who think they are neg, but actually have HIV and aren’t even aware of it. They may doorie without condoms thinking they are negative. That’s why regular and frequent testing is so important. Staying safe remains central to all our efforts to end HIV.
REGULAR TESTING AND YOU
We aren’t testing often enough. Men who have sex with men need to test for HIV & STIs at least twice a year; if we’re getting plenty of action it should be four times a year, and any time you think you may have just been exposed to HIV. With rapid HIV testing now available, it’s easier than ever.
TESTING IS EASIER: CONFIDENTIAL, FREE AND FAST
If you’re in Sydney a[TEST] is a fast, free and confidential rapid HIV and STI testing service, for and by gay men. It’s an express service which means your entire appointment will take no more than 30 minutes, including the time it takes to get the result of the rapid HIV test. No Medicare card is required and no questions asked. To book an appointment visit www.atest.org.au.
Aboriginal Medical Services also provide sexual health testing or to find other testing sites near you go to http://endinghiv.org.au/nsw/where-to-test/.
STAYING SAFE AND NEGATIVE
Testing regularly for negative guys (and treating for positive guys) will work towards ending new HIV transmissions in Australia by 2020, but only if we continue to be safe by using condoms – the best protection against picking up HIV. Visit our stay safe section to find out more.
SEX WITHOUT CONDOMS
If you do happen to fuck without a condom, it is important to know about and practice other ways to reduce risk to help protect yourself and your partners. Be aware though that you are not eliminating the risk of passing on HIV altogether. Fucking without condoms always involves the highest degree of risk – obvious and not-so-obvious. Know the risk before you take it.
We all know that some people choose to inject drugs. While sharing is part of our culture don’t forget that sharing injecting equipment is a very high risk for HIV transmission. If you choose to inject know the risks and your options.
If we find out we have HIV we can do something about it. Treatments today are much better than they were in the past and research shows that early, if not immediate, treatment increases life expectancy, improves health and prevents serious illness by more than 50% compared to those who delay starting treatment.
Very importantly treatments can lower the viral load of HIV in your blood to virtually undetectable levels, meaning you’re much less likely to pass HIV on to sexual partners. This is why it is now possible to end the epidemic.
An undetectable blood result doesn’t mean you have zero or no HIV in your blood – but rather, that treatments have dramatically reduced the level of HIV in your blood to extremely low levels which greatly improves health.
Further, research from the PARTNER study has shown that those with an undetectable viral load have, at most, a 4% chance of transmitting HIV during anal sex, meaning you’re much less likely to pass HIV on to sexual partners.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you have any questions, simply post them on the website using the ‘ASK US’ tool.
As an Aboriginal guy there is plenty you can do to help. See what other Indigenous and non-Indigenous gay guys have to say about how we can work together to end HIV by 2020.WHAT YOU CAN DO