Facilitators Guide

Summary of the story

Tan is working in a café, he’s newly arrived to Australia.  Tan serves Peter a coffee, and Peter offers to take Tan out.  Tan and Peter go on a date and Tan goes back to Peter’s home for sex.  Tan has suggested using a condom, but Peter doesn’t want to.  Tan persuades Peter to use a condom anyway.  Tan catches up with a friend and they discuss being confused at navigating the ‘gay scene’ here.

 General Questions to start discussions and explore the story

  • What’s happening in this story?
  • Explore points that are raised by participants – ask more questions about their statements.

Hints to prompt discussion                                            

  • People who are not familiar with the sexual norms and culture of a community (in this case, the MSM (men who have sex with men) community) can be vulnerable to the influence of people more experienced in that community.
  • Many people try to refuse to use condoms. If given the option of sex with a condom or no sex at all, most people will agree to use a condom.  It is important to be firm and insist on using a condom during sex to reduce the risk of blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections (BBVs and STIs).
  • People sometimes lie to convince their partners to have sex with them, or do not know the facts.
  • In Australia men who have sex with men have a higher risk of getting HIV than heterosexual sexual partners.
  • You can’t tell if someone has HIV or another BBV/STI just by looking at them. Many people living with HIV or other BBV/STIs do not know they have them and may be passing them on without realising.
  • Sex won’t necessarily make someone feel less lonely.
  • Having any type of unprotected sex comes with the risk of BBVs and STIs.
  • If you are sexually active it is important to go for regular sexual health testing – recommendations advise men who have sex with men to go every three months for testing and other people to go every six months, even if you don’t have symptoms.
  • People who are at a higher risk of HIV, can take PrEP – pre-exposure prophylaxis.  This is a pill that you take once a day and can get from your doctor. It is very effective at stopping people from getting HIV when they are taking the pill every day.
  • Thorne Harbour Health run workshops for gay and same-sex attracted men to socialise and learn about sexuality and well-being.  The workshops are free and run by other gay and same-sex attracted men.  For more information, visit their website.

Services Available

Mensline Australia

Telephone and online support, information and referral service, helping men to deal with relationship problems in a practical and effective way.

Phone: 1300 789 978 or visit Mensline Australia

Lifeline

24-hour Australia wide telephone counselling service.
Phone: 13 11 14 or visit Lifeline Australia

Action Centre

Sexual and reproductive health services for people under 25.  Free condoms available

Location: Level 1, 94 Elizabeth St, Melbourne, VIC

Phone: (03) 9660 4700 or visit Family Planning Victoria Action Centre

Melbourne Sexual Health Centre

Free sexual health clinic, offering free condoms and testing and treatment including post-exposure prophylaxis if you think you have been exposed to HIV, walk-ins welcome.

Location: 580 Swanston St, Carlton, VIC
Phone: (03) 9341 6200 or visit Melbourne Sexual Health Centre

National Health Service Directory

Directory to find a doctor in your local area

Visit National Health Services Directory

Queerspace – Drummond Street Services

Queerspace provides individual, couples and family counselling as well as groups and seminars aimed at supporting LGBTIQ people with their mental health needs.

Location: 100 Drummond Street, Carlton, VIC

Phone: (03) 9663 6733 or visit Queerspace

Q-Life

Telephone or online counselling and referral services for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and/or intersex available between 3pm and 12am.

Phone: 1800 184 527 or visit Q-Life

Gay and Lesbian Switchboard (regional)

Free, anonymous phone counselling staffed by trained volunteers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trasgender.

Phone: 1800 184 527 or visit Switchboard

Gay and Lesbian Switchboard (metro)

Free, anonymous phone counselling staffed by trained volunteers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Phone: (03) 9663 2939 or visit Switchboard