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A fundamental remit of the MSSVD has always been sexual health education and training, especially for those within the specialty. With the possibility of, and subsequent publication of, the National Sexual Health and HIV strategy (SHS) for England1 the MSSVD has broadened its influence in the area of sexual health education. As a multiprofessional society the MSSVD is ideally placed to respond to the needs of those multiprofessional and multidisciplinary groups who it is proposed will deliver the SHS.
The MSSVD produced an in-depth response to the SHS,2 which included an appendix on the training and educational needs of those working at all levels: from undergraduates through to the specialist level 3.
For the SHS to be successfully implemented appropriate skill, attitude, and knowledge based education and training of healthcare workers expected to deliver levels 1, 2, and 3 services is essential. Many level 1 providers have only received genitourinary medicine training through undergraduate programmes. These are documented as being very patchy for both doctors and nurses.3 Even for those currently working within genitourinary medicine there is variable access to training (unpublished survey by GUM non-consultant career grade group, 2002).
An MSSVD working party has been established with input from the British HIV Association (BHIVA) and the Faculty of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care (FFPRHC). The aim is to define a core minimum sexual health curriculum for all universities, both nursing and medical and to develop and pilot a modular training programme, which can be adapted locally.
In anticipation of the increased involvement of primary care in the delivery of sexual health care following the publication of the sexual health strategy, the MSSVD identified the …