Servicing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community

OUT provides direct health services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, MSM, sex workers, and injecting drug users, including HIV testing, counselling, treatment and general lifestyle advice and support.

OUT has been in existence for more than 21 years and is dedicated to the building of healthy and empowered LGBT communities in South Africa and internationally, while reducing hetrosexism and homophobia in society.

WHO: HOMOSEXUALITY-RELATED ‘DISORDERS’ SHOULD BE DROPPED

While homosexuality itself is no longer recognised as a psychological disorder, a number of “disorders” deemed to be related to homosexuality have remained in WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

This includes, for example, a person’s confusion around their sexual orientation leading them to become depressed being labelled as a “sexual maturation disorder”.

The five “homosexuality-related psychological disorders” that remain listed in the current edition of the ICD could be used to justify “conversion therapy” or “treatment” of homosexuality, say critics.

The WHO group concluded in a new report that the basis for these disorders is unscientific and that they could “create unnecessary harm by delaying accurate diagnosis and treatment.”

Rather, depression and anxiety among gay and bisexual people should be treated in the same way as any other person.

The working group wrote that, “It is not justifiable from a clinical, public health or research perspective for a diagnostic classification to be based on sexual orientation.”

It added: “In addition, the Working Group found no evidence that [the categories] are clinically useful: they neither contribute to health service delivery or treatment selection nor provide essential information for public health surveillance.”

It recommended that “these categories be deleted entirely” from future editions of the ICD. According to Science, the recommendation must still undergo several reviews and would need to be voted on by ministers of health from more than 170 countries that are members of WHO.

Chris Beyrer of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland told Science that there is likely to be “tremendous pushback” against the recommendation from countries in which homosexuality is considered an illness or a crime.

He added that that this is “precisely the right time for WHO to stand up, take an evidence-based approach and say [homosexuality] is not a pathology.”

Homosexuality was removed from the current 10th edition of the ICD in 1990.

Originally published by Mambaonline.com (republished with permission).

Services
Have you been threatened, hit, raped or had your property damaged or stolen because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI)? Then you have been a victim of a hate crime.
OUT offers exciting training to mainstream service providers and other interested parties. The training assists individuals to understand themselves as sexual beings.
Currently OUT distributes safer sex packs to a range of venues in Tshwane that are utilised by gay men and lesbian women. These packs also include responsible sex messaging, appropriate barrier methods and lube.
OUT's Engage Men’s Health project offers free and confidential sexual health services to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM).