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Whether you’re travelling north, south, abroad or staying put – Pride Season is fast approaching and it’s best to be prepared! As you plan celebrations, there are some steps that you can take to be mindful of you and your communities' health in the lead up to and during a big season of Pride.

Pride Season is known to be a time for liberation and expressing ourselves, especially the parts of ourselves that society often told us to hide or be ashamed of. It is also a time for everyone to embrace all of the wonderful things that make us unique - all body types, shapes and sizes, ethnicities, gender expressions, sexualities and abilities and to immerse ourselves in Queer joy, connection and euphoria! If you have never been to a Pride event - there's nothing else like it! Steeped in tradition, history, celebration and love, Pride events are entrenched with acceptance for all, just as they are. 

Thinking about getting sexy over Pride Season? 

Whether your hookups are planned or spontaneous, it’s always best to be prepared.   

Get tested 

Firstly, visit your nearest sexual health clinic or GP to get tested for sexually transmitted infections and blood borne viruses before heading into Pride Season. This way, you can get a baseline test for HIV and syphilis, find out if you are protected against viruses like Hepatitis B and make sure you don't take any ride-alongs like chlamydia or gonorrhea with you on the way. Bonus points: book an appointment for after you return or in 3 months time! 

Not sure where to go? Find your nearest testing service here. 


If you haven’t had your Hepatitis A, B, or MPOX vaccines by now – now is a good time.  

You might also need a top up of Hep B jabs, you can check that by getting tested (head back to step 1). 

Be conscious that COVID is still a thing. Get your booster shot if you haven’t already and think about physical distancing, wearing a mask and sticking to well-ventilated spaces whenever possible. 


Make sure you are well supplied with any medications you are currently taking. If you’re taking PrEP daily or on demand, check that you have enough to get you through your season of partying and for when you return. You might need to call your doctor for another prescription (which you can confirm during step 1!) and make a plan in case you lose your meds during Pride Season.  

Cover Yourself 

Remember, PrEP and U=U only protect against HIV transmission. There are still plenty of STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and shigella floating around. So, pack plenty of condoms and lube - it’s always good to have some backups in case they break or get lost. You can also get lube in pocket sized sachets that are handy for spontaneous play! 

Make a Plan B 

If things don’t go to plan, it’s important to prepare for the unexpected. This includes knowing where your closest emergency department or sexual health clinic is to pick up PEP within 72 hours of potential exposure to HIV. 

Looking after your body: The Essentials 


We all know that when holidays come around, or we’ve been out partying, food options can be limited or you may not feel too much like eating. But try to remember food is fuel, and you'll need the energy to keep you going throughout the day (and night)!  

If you’re feeling unwell or have a very limited appetite, you can try eating less, more often. Smaller meals/light snacks throughout the day will help to keep your blood sugar where it needs to be. Eating and preparing food is an act of self-care and something that could also help you to feel more present and in your body if you’re starting to feel a little blue.  

You could even plan a post party picnic - grab some yummy eats and head out to a park or beach. If you have some friends around, you could organise to all meet and share a meal and debrief about all the goings on from the night before! 


Keep up your water intake all throughout party season- and this one is SUPER important! Keeping hydrated while partying, before/during/after a hookup will ensure you have the stamina and mental clarity to do whatever it is you want to be doing! 


Pride celebrations can turn long days into late nights.... on repeat. Try and catch up on Zzz's whenever you can and consider scheduling recovery time ahead of the party to avoid burning out. Needing time to recuperate is nothing to be ashamed of – your mind and body will love you all the more for it. 


Hold off your hookups until at least 24 hours after your skin treatments of choice. Whether you’re waxing, tanning or zapping – let your skin heal before you start grinding up against someone else's! 


If you’re into exercise, no one expects you to keep up on your usual routine while you’re partying. However, there’s plenty of lighter things you can do to keep your body moving and keep your mental and physical health feeling good. Go for walks or jogs outside while getting some fresh air. Find a gym for some solo training (keep it light) or a group class one (late) morning. 

If you are partying with people, you could even organise a little sunshine and stroll - having other people to move your body in the company of can help motivate you and you’ll hopefully feel nice and connected as well! 


Pride Season is a time for pleasure, joy and fun – as it should be! But there are ways to prepare to keep things fun and on the safer side. If you’re travelling from or staying in Canberra, you can take your drugs to be tested at CanTest every Thursday from 3:00pm – 6:00pm and Friday 6:00pm-9pm. 

Drug composition can be unpredictable and testing them can help you to make a more informed decision about taking the drugs you’ve got while knowing what else is in them. This will also help you to manage risks should they come up. 

After you have had your chemicals tested it’s time to start thinking about how much is safe to consume -before heading out! It can be easy to get ahead of ourselves if we are feeling a little anxious at an event but going low and going slow will allow time to monitor how we're feeling and if it’s safe to take more. 

If you happen to come across a drug and you aren't too sure about it, you can also head to Text the Effects. Text the Effects is an anonymous SMS service that provides confidential info about the effects of drugs in a quick and easy way. Simply text the name of the drug you want to know more about for an immediate answer – anywhere, anytime. This service is only available in Australia. The number is: 0439 tell me (0439 835 563)  

If you plan on injecting, you can take clean injecting equipment with you or find some wherever you’re going. Visit the AIVL website to find your closest Needle and Syringe Program.  

When you’re riding high, it’s important that you: 

  • Keep in touch with friends throughout the night 
  • Try to not get separated from your group 
  • Stay hydrated and nourished 

FAIR PLAY is a great resource to know the ins and outs of drug law in NSW and has more information about drugs and their effects.  

We know that there are some risks involved with taking drugs, overdose can and does occur. Head to Harm Reduction Victoria for information about signs and symptoms of overdose. For access to free Naloxone in Canberra head here and if you’re elsewhere in Australia, head here! 

Now a little note on alcohol.... 
We know everyone’s here to have a good time during Pride Season, and you can do that while keeping an eye on how much you’re drinking. Indulging can be great, but there are ways to do it safely.  

  • Don't drink on an empty stomach. 
  • Alternate your drinks with a water or something non-alcoholic. 
  • Stick to a single spirit to avoid peaking too soon. 
  • Drink spiking can happen – keep your drink within reach and be cautious when a stranger offers you a drink. It’s okay to politely decline. If you start to feel unwell, alert the venue, let your friends know and seek medical care.   
  • Look out for your friends and keep each other accountable. 
  • Remember – you don’t have to drink to have a good time. 

General Health and wellbeing 

Online safety 

Cruising online is great fun, but we know a lot of nasty stuff can happen and it’s best to be aware. Knowledge is power! We’ve got a resource on keeping yourself safer online and red flags to look out for, click here. 

Going solo 

If you’re heading to the party/city by yourself, keep in touch with a trusted person and plan for what to do if they don’t hear from you for 24 hours.  

Look out for your friends 

If you’ve got friends with you, look out for each other! It can be easy to get wrapped up in the fun, but also just as easy to have a wingman to let know what you’re taking if you’re indulging in drugs, or where you’re headed if you’ve found a hookup. Watch out for them as well – make sure they’re fed before drinking and keeping hydrated too. 


It’s no secret that partying can rack up the big bucks. Looking after your financial well-being is just as important as your general health in the long term. Remember that there are ways to have fun and celebrate without spending big – keep an eye out for free events and set a daily budget for yourself if that’s helpful. 

For more information and tips on staying healthy, safe and making the most of Pride Season, visit: