HetMAN Australia and Aotearoa
HetMAN stands for Heterosexual Men’s Advocacy Network. Our aim is to advocate for the wellbeing of heterosexual men living with HIV in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
What do we mean by advocate?
- Speaking up in constructive ways to highlight the unique needs of heterosexual men living with HIV;
- Active representation to service providers, policy makers, governments, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and the community.
HetMAN was established in 2021.
We consist entirely of heterosexual men living with HIV.
A steering group of committed volunteers guides our decisions and directions.
We value our place in the diverse community of people living with HIV.
We seek to collaborate to achieve good outcomes for all positive people.
Why is HetMAN needed?
There are approximately 500 heterosexual men living with HIV in Aotearoa New Zealand and 2,900 in Australia.
At HetMAN, we believe heterosexual men living with HIV are prone to stigma and isolation in unique and particular ways. Traditionally, circumstances have made it hard for us to access appropriate support and participate in peer-led efforts to impact policy and services.
At HetMAN, we want to create a new pattern of involvement and increase the meaningful participation of heterosexual men living with HIV. We want to find ways to be considered and included in decisions that affect us.
We believe the virtual elimination of HIV transmission will be profoundly more difficult without our input.
Similarly, our needs and preferences, for things like peer support, must be better understood and factored in.
Video: Hear from Anth McCarthy who spoke as part of a community panel for the Our Future, Beyond Resilience Congress on 10 November 2021 and chaired by Chistabel Millar. The panel formed part of a session called ‘Strengthening the positive voice: Whose voices are missing or unheard?’
HetMAN: Values and Ethos
To achieve genuine representation, HetMAN seeks to consult and include the full diversity of men who identify as heterosexual or straight.
We aim to include the voices of heterosexual men of all cultural identities.
We acknowledge the social inequity faced by first nations people, Māori, people of colour, LGBTIQ+ people, people with disabilities, people who inject and other people living with HIV impacted by inequity.
We try to be aware and avoid participating in practices and structures that perpetuate racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia and stigma.
We support research, evidence-based practice, education, and non-punitive approaches to public health.
We thank and acknowledge those who have championed people living with HIV in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
Anyone is welcome to contact us for any reason. Email or use the contact form below.
Questions are welcome. We are available for consultation.
To join our network, you must be male, heterosexual, and living with HIV in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.
A diverse membership of men from a variety of cultural backgrounds will strengthen our representation. You can join us if you were born outside of Australia / Aotearoa. Permanent residency or citizenship are not required. Visa class does not matter.
Skills and experience are welcome but not required. Lived experience of HIV as a heterosexual male is the key qualification we seek.
You can work with us without compromising your privacy and anonymity.
Alternatively, contact us using this form. We value your privacy and confidentiality.
About the Health Literacy Framework project
HetMAN Australia was founded in 2021 from work and the findings under the NAPWHA HIV Health Literacy Framework project. The Health Literacy Framework project is a community-led project which employs a community member to develop and tailored health promotion for people living with HIV (PLHIV). Community Advocate, Anth McCarthy consulted with community peers to develop the ideas for establishing a national network.
Activities undertaken to establish HetMAN Australia:
- In 2020, Community Advocate Anth McCarthy conducted semi-structured interviews with his peer network from around Australia. This aimed to investigate what works where and how in terms of health literacy (gaps, enablers and opportunities) and improving HIV-related heath outcomes for heterosexual men. These consultations went on to inform a range of health literacy initiatives targeting (or tailored for) heterosexual men.
- These interviews were summarised in a Report available for download [PDF]
From this investigation, the health literacy project aims to implement some project initiates, including:
- In 2021, a core reference group including Nathan Butler (former QPP Peer Navigator) commenced formalising discussions around the formation of a NAPWHA-auspiced network.
Video: Hear from Community Advocate, Anth McCarthy, who was central to the co-design of a health literacy framework for heterosexual men living with HIV. After the pilot of women living with HIV was rolled out in its initial pilot phase, the framework’s approach was allied to other groups of people living with HIV. Anth is reporting back to NAPWHA members at the Special General Meeting (May 2021).
Video: NAPWHA Project Officer, Eloise Monteiro presented as part of a Health Literacy Framework project report back to members at the NAPWHA AGM 2021. Community Advocates from the project made announcements of new NAPWHA-auspiced national networks: Jimmy Chen of Positive Asian Network Australia (PANA); Anth McCarthy of HetMAN Australia (Heterosexual Men Advocacy Network); and Cristian Cortes of Positive Latinx Australian Network (PLAN)