The Society of Sexual Health Advisers (SSHA) is a UK national organisation with approximately 300 members out of an estimated 350 sexual health advisers in the country. It provides an opportunity for members to meet and work towards further professional development.
Sexual health advisers work in Departments of Genitourinary Medicine (GUM Clinics) in the UK and Ireland.
The role of the sexual health adviser varies enormously from clinic to clinic. It involves working with individuals and groups affected by issues related to sexual health in general and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV) in particular. Their role will commonly embrace the following features:
- Partner notification/contact tracing
- Sexual health promotion
- Research and audit
There is no core qualification for health advising though training courses are run by various educational establishments to better equip them in their role. sexual health advisers come from a variety of professional backgrounds including nursing, health visiting and social work.
Local groups meet regularly and an annual conference is held each Spring.
A Council of elected officers and regional representatives meets 6 times a year. It sets standards, produces statements and addresses specific issues by setting up working groups.
SSHA is part of the Unite/Amicus union. Members benefit therefore from expert help in raising and resolving problems encountered at the workplace i.e. grievances, pay and conditions.