ACON to spotlight LGBTI health at Mardi Gras Fair Day

ACON to spotlight LGBTI health at Mardi Gras Fair Day
Image: Mardi Gras Fair Day 2017. Photo by Ann-Marie Calilhanna.

Community health group ACON is welcoming visitors to this Sunday’s Mardi Gras Fair Day to find out about improving their wellbeing by visiting the ACON Zone.

Located near the Cleveland Street and City Road entrance of Victoria Park, the ACON Zone will feature many activities, highlighting ACON’s work in HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTI health.

Drop in and have your photo taken with the How Do You Do It? inflatables, find out more about other effective forms of HIV prevention, take part in vital health surveys, get more information about ACON’s counselling, community care and Mardi Gras safety services, or chill out in the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Marquee.

“ACON is always thrilled to be a part of Mardi Gras Fair Day as it’s an iconic event on our community’s calendar,” said CEO Nicolas Parkhill.

“Fair Day also provides ACON with a unique and effective platform to showcase the many and varied ways we work to improve the health of our community, celebrate our diversity, and commemorate our history.

“Our staff and volunteers will be on hand throughout the day to also provide information on how people can safely enjoy all that the Mardi Gras festival has to offer.”

Staff will be promoting ACON’s How Do You Do It? campaign, which raises awareness of the HIV prevention strategies now available to gay men such as condoms, PrEP and UVL—where people with HIV take treatment that suppresses viral load to an undetectable level, making transmission virtually impossible.

Visitors to the ACON Zone will also be able to make a vital contribution to community health research by taking part in several health surveys that only take a few minutes and will help generate much-needed data that informs important community health initiatives.

Other dedicated stalls within the ACON Zone will provide information about ACON’s range of ageing and community care services such as counselling, care coordination, and home-based care and support for older people and people with HIV.

Visitors will be able to find out more about ACON’s special services for women, young gay men and Asian gay men, as well as how ACON promotes workplace, sporting and health inclusion for LGBTI people.

Attendees will also be able to find out more about the ACON Rovers and the Fair Players, teams of volunteers who help keep partygoers safe and protected at all the big Mardi Gras events and parties.

For the second year ACON is presenting Doggywood, which will feature a host of activities that highlight the important role pets play in improving the health and wellbeing of people in our communities.

“ACON is once again proud to bring back Doggywood to Fair Day, as we know that pets provide an important source of love and support for many people in the LGBTI community,” Parkhill said.

“They keep us active and providing devoted companionship, so it’s only fitting that we love them back and pay tribute to our furry friends with a fun celebration of all things canine.

“We invite all our friends, supporters and partners to join us on Fair Day, to make this year a special and safe Mardi Gras.”

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