It”s gearing up to be an even bigger year than 2008 as ACON looks to roll out projects across the southern parts of the state. Working with local communities is the plan for our way forward throughout this year and those following.

Locally the HIV positive gay men”s retreat is being held from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 February.

This is for men who live across the South and we are looking forward to a relaxing, educational and fun weekend.

The retreat will focus on living well with HIV and include information on complementary therapies, counselling and stress management. If you live in or around the Illawarra and would like to know more, please contact Michael on 4226 1163.

With the holiday season wrapping up for most of us, it”s time to start looking toward the year ahead, and for many, to start getting geared up for Mardi Gras in the not too distant future!

Festival guides are out; events are ready to be put into diaries. Be sure to pay attention to dates this year, as many events have shifted from their normal times (the film festival being a prime example) due to the parade being a full week into March.

If you are still on a travelling holiday from regional NSW or thinking of heading to any of the Mardi Gras events in Sydney, keep some tips in mind. Plan your activities when in unfamiliar places and whenever possible travel with friends to avoid any harassment or incidences of violence.

If you experience harassment report it to the police so they can do their job and protect you -¦ and let the Anti-Violence Project (AVP) know at http://avp.acon.org.au

Remember to plan, stick to your plans, and leave room in the bag for the condoms and lube -¦ or gloves and dams.

Take care, play safe and stay safe.

info: For more information about groups, services, organisations or community events taking place in the Illawarra contact ACON Illawarra on 4226 1163 or email tslattery@acon.org.au

Trevor Slattery is the Education and Community Development Officer for
ACON”s Illawarra Branch.

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