Sexual health adviser
Sexual health advisers provide information, advice and counselling about sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
1. Entry requirements
You’ll need either:
- experience in nursing, health visiting, social work or counselling
- a degree in public health, or a related subject if you also have relevant experience in a healthcare setting
You can gain relevant skills and experience by choosing study options and arranging work placements related to sexual health whilst training to become a nurse or social worker.
If you’re a qualified nurse, you could prepare for this work by taking the sexual health advising options within a Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Programme.
You’ll also need:
- recognised counselling training, skills and practice
- knowledge of STIs, HIV and related sexual health issues through a recognised course
- competence in health education and promotion
2. Skills required
- excellent communication skills
- tact, empathy and a non-judgemental approach to care
- good organisational and time management skills
- the ability to network with a range of organisations
- project management skills
- good research and analytical skills
3. What you'll do
You’ll work with individuals and groups affected by sexual health issues in general and STIs (including HIV) in particular.
Your day-to-day duties might include:
- advising patients on precautions to take with current partners
- tracing and contacting previous partners who may have been exposed to the STI
- promoting good sexual health practices
- counselling patients
- teaching and training
- carrying out research
- compiling local statistics
Starter: £26,000 to £30,000
Experienced: £31,000 to £35,000
Highly Experienced: £40,000 or over
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentIn a full-time job in the NHS, you’ll usually work 37.5 hours a week.
You’ll usually be based in a genito-urinary medicine (GUM) or sexual health clinic. There may be some outreach work involved.
6. Career path and progressionWith experience, you could progress to senior sexual health adviser, or a sexual health lead or management role.
There may also be opportunities to move into a public health project management role (specialising in sexual health) within local government.
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Last updated: 21 December 2016