History of WSSH

Vintage sexual health educational poster

The Western Sydney Sexual Health clinical services first opened in Parramatta on November 12, 1979. Originally known as "The Parramatta Sexual Health Clinic" this was the first publicly funded specialist 'STD and related disorders clinic of its kind in the western metropolitan area. The Original service provided treatment in sex-segregated clinics was staffed by one medical officer, two nurses, two nursing aides and one social worker. It became apparent after 12 months that the need for such a service was far greater than current resources allowed, and the following year staffing and clinic hours were expanded.

The Clinical Service has certainly grown and evolved from these humble beginnings, from 2,800 patient attendances in the first year of operation to 19,000 attendances today. Increased demand has resulted in two locations changes, expansion of staff numbers and increased clinic hours.The clinic continues the efficient, free and confidential service that was established in 1979, and today provides individual evidence-based STI and HIV treatment and management, teaching, education and research whist maintaining a strong public health focus.

In 2000, the STI Research Centre was established at Westmead Hospital. It too grew over the years, increasing its research and teaching activities, to become one of the largest sexual health research centres in Australia. In 2012 STI Research Centre relocated to integrate with the clinical services in Jeffery House, helping create the new Western Sydney Sexual Health.

The combination of the high quality clinical services, cutting edge research and comprehensive teaching ensures that WSSH is well placed to provide 21st century care in HIV, STIs and Sexual Health.