Health and Wellbeing

With LGBTQIA+ people from all over the world and across Australia gathering for Sydney WorldPride, make the most of this incredible celebration with our guide to looking after your health and wellbeing during your visit.

NSW Health also have dedicated Sydney WorldPride health and safety page with invaluable info.

Looking after your sexual health

Everyone wants to feel good and have a great time at Sydney WorldPride. If you’re going to play, you should get a full sexual health screen – including HIV and all sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis – ideally before arriving. Anything unexpected can get treated, so you’re ready to go once you arrive.

If you’re nowhere near a testing centre or are worried about attending one, you can use this interactive map from ACON to find a safe and friendly testing site in Sydney. Most STIs are easily treatable, so don’t delay. Pop a pause on hooking up, get tested asap and treated if needed. Sydney’s publicly funded sexual health clinics and community-based centres are free, even if you’re not an Australian resident.

A lot has changed about living with HIV in recent years. Empower yourself and others by knowing your status. You can locate a rapid testing site in Sydney here. It’s fast and confidential. If you test positive, you’ll get all the information and support you need. Your doctor will likely talk to you about starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) as soon as possible to help keep your immune system strong, protecting your health and ensuring you’re unlikely to pass on HIV.

Free DUREX condoms and lubricant will available at many Sydney WorldPride events. If condoms aren’t your thing, talk to your local healthcare provider about possibly going on pre-exposure prophylaxis medication (PrEP), with plenty of info about your options here. If you’re already on PrEP, make sure you’re well-stocked and check expiry dates.

Accidents happen. If you’ve had unprotected sex or your condom broke, you can get post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) from most sexual health centres or hospital emergency departments. You need to act fast, within 72 hours of hooking up.

Monkeypox (Mpox), Covid-19 and other health issues

Mpox is a viral infection that can cause blisters and a rash. It can be passed on through close physical contact, including during sex. The vaccine available in Australia to protect people against Mpox is called JYNNEOS. Two doses are required and offer the best protection against Mpox. All Sydney WorldPride attendees who are recommended to be vaccinated against Mpox in NSW can access the JYNNEOS vaccine for free – this includes international and interstate visitors to NSW.

If you’re already in NSW, you can book a vaccination appointment here and attend a publicly-funded sexual health clinic for free, even if you aren’t an Australian resident. This map shows all vaccination sites in Australia. It’s normal for vaccination side effects to include localised redness, swelling and itchiness, and you may experience tiredness, muscle pain or fever.

If you feel unwell, or have rashes or sores, don’t travel to Sydney until you’ve got the all-clear. If you’re worried you might have been exposed to Mpox during Sydney WorldPride, self-isolate and contact the NSW Sexual Health Infolink. They will help guide you through the process and assist you with reaching out to anyone you’ve come into close contact with, especially sexual partners. Most infections are mild and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief and hydration. If your symptoms are serious, present at a hospital, where you may be able to access antiviral medications. You can read more about Mpox here.

Covid-19 is present in Australia and worldwide. Make sure you’re fully vaccinated before attending Sydney WorldPride, including getting your booster or second booster if this is recommended for you. If you experience symptoms, do a Rapid Antigen Test, which can be picked up from pharmacies or supermarkets. If you test positive, it is recommended that you stay home until your symptoms have gone away. Follow NSW Health’s advice for people testing positive to COVID-19 . If you are concerned about your symptoms, call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

In Sydney there is no requirement to wear a mask in most places, including entertainment venues, restaurants and shops. As such, to protect yourself when at Sydney WorldPride, especially if you are immunocompromised, consider wearing a mask when in crowds and sanitising your hands regularly.

To keep everyone at Sydney WorldPride safe and healthy, ensure you’ve been fully vaccinated against measles, influenza, Meningococcal disease, Polio, Diphtheria and Hepatitis A, and are across treatments for Hepatitis B and C. For any severe reactions, present at a hospital.

Be sun smart

As Sydney WorldPride happens over the summer, chances are the sun will be shining. Stay hydrated, and stock up 50+ SPF sun cream and as we say in Australia, slip, slop, slap (slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat). The Australian sun is incredibly intense, so even for short periods outdoor, protect your skin. You’ll find sun cream is much more affordable in Australia than in other holiday destinations, so it’s totally fine to grab some when you’re in Sydney.

Water safety

Sydney has beautiful beaches, but they can have dangerous undercurrents that aren’t always obvious. Even the most experienced swimmers can get in trouble. The easiest way to stay safe is to only swim at beaches patrolled by lifeguards and surf lifesavers – who wear bright yellow and red uniforms – and only between the flags. Also observe warnings about wildlife, including sharks and stinging jellyfish.

Your mental health

If your mental health is struggling, don’t shoulder the burden alone. If you don’t feel able to reach out to friends or family, you can contact NSW’s 24/7 Mental Health Line here. They handily collate a bunch of alternative mental health services on their home page, and ACON has also collated a wealth of queer and trans-focused support options here as do NSW Health. Remember, you can contact emergency services on 000.

Road safety

If you’re visiting Sydney from overseas and plan to hire a car, it’s worth remembering that Australians drive on the left side of the road! All passengers must wear a seat belt, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a no go. Put your phone down and save that text for later if you don’t want a fine, though you can take a call if you can answer it through the car handsfree.

Get travel insurance

We strongly recommend buying travel insurance with comprehensive health and emergency cover. Our official partner Cover-More may be an appropriate insurer for you (click here).

Translated resources

NSW Health have translated resources into 11 languages, which include: French, Indonesian, Italian, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Vietnamese, Thai and German. To access these, click here.

Reconocimiento del país

El Sydney WorldPride tendrá lugar en las tierras de los pueblos Gadigal, Cammeraygal, Bidjigal, Darug, Dharawal, que son los custodios tradicionales de la cuenca de Sydney.

Presentamos nuestros respetos a sus ancianos pasados y presentes. Siempre fue, siempre será, tierra aborigen.

Los aborígenes e isleños del Estrecho de Torres proceden de muchos clanes y comunidades diferentes de toda Australia y en 2023 se unirán para celebrar con nuestra comunidad global LGBTQIA+.