Newcastle is experiencing an increase in the number of people with gonorrhoea.
Gonorrhoea can be transmitted through oral sex, anal sex and arse play such as fingering or fisting. If left untreated, gonorrhoea can have serious and permanent health impacts.
Sometimes there are no symptoms present, so you may not know you are infected. When present, symptoms can include discharge from the penis or vagina, and pain when passing urine. It pays to get tested. Testing is simple — a urine test and a swab. You can access free and confidential sexual health tests at ACON, 129 Maitland Rd, Islington, every Thursday from 1pm, or at the Sexual Health Clinic.
If you’re HIV positive, and you get diagnosed early, gonorrhoea is easily treatable. If left untreated, it can increase the risk of HIV being passed on.
Using condoms and washing your hands with soap and water immediately after sex can help prevent transmission. If you are using toys, make sure you clean them between use, use a new condom on them each time, and wash your hands.
To other things happening in the region. GenQ is a social support group for young GLBT people, and is held at the Regional Youth Support Services (RYSS). If you’re a young person in the Gosford area, I recommend checking out RYSS. It is a fantastic service with great resources like a recording studio, amazing art room, computer access, and friendly, supportive staff. For more info about GenQ contact Jamie on 4323 2374.
Mixed Froots is on Friday March 26 from 5.30pm at Boulevard on Beaumont, Tudor St, Hamilton. Gold coin donation — free finger food.
The Newcastle Gay and Lesbian Choir is keen for more members. They meet every Monday night at ACON, no singing experience necessary. Email Catherine at newcastlegaylesbianchoir@hotmail.com

info: For more about groups, services, organisations or community events in the Hunter, New England, MNC or Central Coast, call ACON on 4927 6808 or email hunter@acon.org.au

Lisa Ronneberg is the Community Health Promotion Officer at ACON’s Hunter Office.

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