The annual Central West Pride March allowed marchers and community members to celebrate pride while providing access to LGBTIQA health and education resources.
The festival at Victoria Park after the march saw about 11 vendors provide entertainment, confectionery and resources and support for mental illness, sexual health and relationship counselling.
NSW’s leading HIV prevention and support LGBTIQA health organisation ACON provided information and resources at the festival.
“We’ve got condoms, we’ve got lots of practical stuff we can do, we’ve got dry blood testing, we’ve got the sexual health unit there to support a full sexual health screening,” ACON regional manager Lisa McFayden said.
Ms McFayden said the main message was to “let people know we’re here and we’re here to support the LGBTIQA people”.
ACON regional outreach development manager Teddy Cook said they had support the march every year.
“What we know is for communities across the state from cities right back to the outback, events like Central West Pride March really add visibility and we know that visible communities means safer and healthier communities,” Mr Cook said.
Western Primary Health Network Dubbo Sexual Health employee Margie Crowley said providing sexual health tests at community events helped “break down the barriers”.
“It’s really important that we demystify sexual health. Sex is normal and it’s really important that we reinforce positive sexual health messages,” Ms Crowley said.
“I think it’s really important that we provide testing at community events to demystify the stigma … it’s a way of engaging with the community in a non-confrontational way.”