Press Release Press Release Press Release Press     

7 May, 2003


The Society of Health Advisers in Sexually Transmitted Diseases (SHASTD) has changed its name to The Society of Sexual Health Advisers (SSHA) in a bid to broaden its membership appeal.

The name change is aimed at attracting people in primary care settings who may have the task of monitoring sexually transmitted infections.

Practitioners who do not now call themselves health advisers (nurses, youth workers) will become able to join if they fit the membership criteria, such as performing a substantial amount of contact tracing in their jobs.

The name change reflects the move away from the sexually transmitted disease concept, which may be alarming, to emphasise the concept of sexually transmitted infection for sexual health clinic service users.

New SSHA president, Gill Bell said: ‘Sexual health advisers have received firm endorsement from the National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV.’

‘The strategy emphasises our key role in ensuring that patients diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections in the community receive the same standard of care as those attending sexual health clinics, including a full partner notification service.’

‘We are providing working guidelines and standards in a forthcoming manual for sexual health advising practice.’

‘We are working to secure professional registration, and will lobby at national level to ensure our members have appropriate training and working conditions.’

SSHA is an integral part of the health care professionals union Amicus



Health Advising is a small profession with only about 450 practitioners in the UK, of which over 300 are members of rapidly growing SSHA.

Amicus, the UK’s second largest trade union, represents more than 60,000 professionals working in the health sector – and this figure is rising. A special feature of Amicus is the range of professions it represents as many are organised within distinct entities.

The Society’s website, accessed by the public for information with approximately 30,000 hits a week, will remain as for the time being.

People requiring information about joining should contact the SSHA membership secretary, Vincent Lawlor on or write to him c/o Amicus NHS Sector, 33 – 37 Moreland Street, London EC1V 8HA.

Ronald Seery, Honorary Secretary,

Gill Bell, President,

Vincent Lawlor, Membership Secretary,

Carol English, amicus MSF



For further information, please contact:

Shaun Noble Communications Officer ( (020) 7939 7043

mobile ( 07768 69 39 40

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site:

 The CPHVA represents health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the amicus trade union. MSF joined with the AEEU to form amicus, the UK’s second largest union, on 1 January 2002.


For further information, please contact

Shaun Noble Press Officer (020) 7939 7043 Mobile 0468 69 39 40 MSF

press releases can be seen on our web site:

Amicus/MSF represents 65,000 health service professionals including the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, laboratory scientific staff, the College of Health Care Chaplains, the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Medical Practitioners' Union, clinical psychologists, speech therapists, the Hospital Physicists Association and the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association.

Amicus/MSF has 400,000 skilled and professional members in a wide range of industries. It is the UK's second largest union.