BASHH Centenary 2017

Celebrating 100 years of Sexual Health Services

This is a historic time for sexual health as this year marks 100 years since the Venereal Diseases Act was passed by Parliament in 1917. One year earlier the Public Health (Venereal Disease) Regulations had been issued following a Royal Commission on Venereal Diseases. Times were hard and STIs were rife. This position was exacerbated by troops returning from active duty during the First World War, as roughly 5 percent of all of those who enlisted became infected. The two complementary pieces of legislation resulted in the establishment of free, confidential services, confidential services across the country to diagnose and treat venereal diseases and treatment by unqualified persons was prohibited. In effect, they marked the beginning of a free, confidential and professional sexual health service in the UK.

In recognition of this historic milestone and the significant sexual health advances that have been achieved over the course of the last century, BASHH are taking forward a series of activities for members, healthcare professionals and the wider public. This page will be updated over the coming weeks with further details, so do check back regularly or follow us on twitter @bashh_uk for the latest information.

Centenary Events

Venereology Concert Party
BASHH Centenary Celebrations

Date: 17th November 2017

Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Location: Apothecaries Hall, Black Friars Lane, London, EC4V 6EJ

No Centenary is complete without a musical celebration...

The last hot ticket for the BASHH 100 years retrospective is the Venereology Concert Party (VCP), at Apothecaries Hall, that special and historic place where you probably took your Dip GUM in slightly less relaxed circumstances.

The inimitable Dr Laura Waters, Mistress of Ceremonies, will introduce a series of performances reflecting musical decades from 1917, tastefully woven together by Craig Tipple and Jackie Cassell. The cast for this exclusive event will be drawn from exhibitionists within the speciality, along with celebrity guests invited using a very special blue contact slip.

The VCP will take place in the early evening of Friday 17th November (doors at 7pm) just after the end of the BHIVA conference.
Only 100 tickets are available through the BASHH website at £15.00 apiece.

Registration is now closed

Centenary of the Venereal Disease Act 1917 - House of Lords Reception

Location: Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square, Westminster, London SW1A 0PW

BASHH held an evening reception event at the House of Lords on Tuesday, 6th June 2017 to commemorate the centenary of the Venereal Disease Act 1917 and to mark 100 years of high quality sexual health services across the UK.

It was sponsored by Baroness Gould of Potternewton and The Rt Hon. the Lord Fowler, Lord Speaker was our host on the evening. The event was full to capacity with many BASHH members and a wide range of individuals from sexual health and HIV services, organisations, advocacy and charity groups, plus other members from the House of Lords.

The Master of Ceremonies was Professor Simon Barton and short contributions were made by Dr Elizabeth Carlin, President of BASHH and Lt Col (Dr) Ngozi Dufty, RAMC. This was followed by a networking event in the stunning setting of the Terrace of the House of Lords, which was enjoyed by all.

Photographs of the event were taken by Dr Peter Greenhouse FRCOG and can be viewed on the Centenary Photo Gallery below.

Centenary Animated Video

A hundreds years ago, two landmark pieces of legislation were passed which changed the face of sexual health care in the UK. See how in this short animated timeline produced by the BASHH public panel.

Centenary Podcast

The podcast was produced jointly with the National Archives and is available to listen to online here.

‘A Bit of a Scratch’ is a radio drama about the battle against Venereal Disease during the First World War and is inspired by the first recorded prosecution under the Venereal Disease Act 1917. The legislation was introduced due to the large numbers, roughly 5%, of UK troops returning from the First World War with venereal diseases and to ensure that treatment was undertaken by qualified medical professionals. The last century has seen remarkable developments in sexual health, however with rising numbers of sexually transmitted infections and the emergence of antimicrobial resistant disease, the provision of high quality sexual health services are more important than ever.

The podcast was produced jointly with the National Archives. More information on the historical aspects of this podcast can be found on the National Archives website and @UkNatArchives.

By: Debbie Manship

Cast (in order of appearance):

Narrator: Stephen McGann
Billy: Louis Cardona
Edie: Lowri Amies
Chemist: David Jarvis
Doctor: Peter Wickham

All other parts were played by members of the cast.

Composer: Chris Madin

Studio Engineer: Holly Parris

Director: Paul Dawson

Produced by Role Call and iD Audio in association with M & F Health Communications

The British Army’s fight against Venereal Disease in the ‘Heroic Age of Prostitution’” by Richard Marshall is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Centenary Blogs

Centenary Scientific Meeting Talk

Content to follow...

Photo Gallery

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Official BASHH Photography by Peter Greenhouse FRCOG