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Removal of sexual orientation from "disease categories" in international standards.

The World Health Organization is revising the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), a compilation of health-related categories, globally used for diagnosis, monitoring and statistics, public policy, access to health care, reimbursement and other associated uses. The 11th edition, ICD-11, will be published in 2017. Currently, issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity are divided into a number of categories, mostly listed under "mental and behavioural disorders". The Working Group on the Classification of Sexual Disorders and Sexual Health has found no evidence that these categories are clinically useful, as they neither contribute to health service delivery or treatment selection, nor provide essential information for public health surveillance. The Working Group has recommended that these categories be deleted entirely from ICD-11. (1) Transgender activists continue to advocate for de-pathologisation of transgender people, because health access and gender identity recognition are human rights and their realisation must not depend on diagnostic categories. (2)

(1.) Cochran SD, Drescher J, Kismodi E, et al. Proposed declassification of disease categories related to sexual orientation in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11). Bulletin of World Health Organization 2014;92:672-9. Doi:

(2.) Global Action for Trans * Equality. New developments in the ICD revision process, 19 August 2014. http://

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Title Annotation:ROUND UP: The law, the courts, and the sexual and reproductive rights
Publication:Reproductive Health Matters
Date:Nov 1, 2014
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