Gay Men’s Health SA came to Relationships Australia South Australia after the closure of the AIDS Council of South Australia in 2013. Gay Men’s Health SA is on the move again to a new organisation starting on July 1, 2015.
“We congratulate SHine SA and the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) as the new service providers for Gay Men’s Health SA services. SHine SA and VAC will continue to build on the decades of work and advocacy by the AIDS Council of South Australia and provide an important support and service provision for gay men, men who have sex with men and same sex attracted,” said Judith Cross, CEO of Relationships Australia South Australia.
The Gay Men’s Health SA team has worked tirelessly in the community to break down stigma, promote safe sex practices, increase the use of testing and access to medical treatments, and to improve the health and wellbeing of people who are HIV positive.
The team has been on the front foot in their online presence and connecting with the community through social media. Since joining Facebook, Gay Men’s Health has gained over 1400 page likes and sees a high rate of content engagement each week. Investment in Search Engine Optimisation has resulted in fantastic growth of the Gay Men’s Health SA website with increasing traffic each quarter.
The team has participated in many collaborative programs, notably with MOSAIC Services (Tune Up: Sexual Health & Well-being program) and Clinic 275 and the Royal Adelaide Hospital (1st Point program).
Gay Men’s Health had an especially innovative collaboration with the award winning ActNow Theatre company in the production of Zero Feet Away, an interactive performance targeting gay men under the age 25. Zero Feet Away worked specifically to explore the ways in which men navigate and negotiate sex and relationships within virtual spaces, and worked to increase attendees’ awareness of appropriate HIV management strategies, such as frequent testing and the use of PEP (post-exposure prophylactic) and PrEP (pre-exposure prophylactic) medication.
The team’s presence at the FEAST Festival was vital in reaching their target group. Each year Relationships Australia SA staff walk alongside the Gay Men’s Health SA team at the Pride March.
“It has been pleasure to work with the Gay Men’s Health SA team. I would like to thank the team and volunteers for their hard work and dedication and the community for their involvement in this important service. They have made long-lasting relationships which will be beneficial for future collaborations. We are stronger and richer from having Gay Men’s Health SA as part of our service delivery for the last two years,” Ms Cross said.