BackSociety » Health » Health Ministry Stresses 'LGBT Is Not a Disease' in Response to Rise in 'Gay Cure' Clinics

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health recently issued an official dispatch stressing that homosexuality is not a disease.

According to VnExpress, the document was released to address concerns raised by the Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) regarding a recent trend among some local medical practices claiming to “cure homosexuality.”

Nguyễn Thị Kim Dung, an official from SCDI, told the news source that her center has received various messages from members of the LGBT community who were taken to hospitals by family members to rectify their “homosexual illness.” Some worried parents also reached out to ask whether to seek treatment for their children. Capitalizing on this anxiety, a number of healthcare providers started advertising “homosexuality cures,” causing confusion among parents and distress for young queer Vietnamese.

In the official dispatch, as shared by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economics and Environment (iSEE), the Ministry of Health acknowledged the presence of these advertisements but did not name the medical facilities in question. The ministry quoted the World Health Organization’s (WHO) stance on homosexuality and its removal from the WHO’s list of mental illnesses in 1990.

The ministry urged all healthcare providers under its network to increase awareness among medical practitioners and healthcare seekers regarding the LGBT community and heed caution during clinical sessions.

These include: “Do not treat homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality as a disease” and “Do not coerce members of these groups into medical treatment. If any, only provide psychiatric help, which must be conducted by experts with knowledge of gender identities.”

Most importantly, the health ministry stressed the need for equality in general healthcare procedures: “When undertaking medical care for homosexual, bisexual and transsexual patients, [health professionals] must be fair and respectful of their sexuality and must not discriminate against these groups.”

[Photo: Đà Nẵng residents at a local Pride parade in 2018/Ái Linh via Gia Đình Mới.] 

Related Articles

in Hanoi

Be Gay, Do Pride: Hanoi Pride Week Ends on Cheery Notes Last Sunday

Last Sunday, Hanoi Pride Week 2022 came to a conclusion with thousands of people joining in the festivities.

in Film & TV

The Bachelor's Happy Queer Romance Is the Positive Representation That Vietnam's LGBT Community Needs

Last Wednesday, the couple talked about their declaration of love during a live stream Facebook interview with the reality show centered around straight relationships.

in Health

Hanoi Opens First Milk Bank at National Children's Hospital

The milk bank will provide pasteurized milk for more than 1,000 babies at the Vietnam National Children's Hospital in Hanoi to reduce the risk of late neonatal infection amongst infants unable to...

in Society

[Video] The Colorful Exuberance of Saigon's VietPride Parade 2019

If you were hanging around downtown Saigon last weekend, you would have noticed crowds of revelers dressed in lavish costumes or rainbow-themed attire on their way to the city’s annual Pride event.

in Health

Due to Bidding Red Tape, Pasteur Institute HCMC Runs Out of Vaccines

Saigoneers wishing to inoculate themselves or their children have recently been turned away at the Pasteur Institute in HCMC as the institute struggles to secure its vaccine supplies.

in Film & TV

From Commercial Releases to Heartfelt Docs: A Brief History of Vietnam's Notable Queer Films

Personally honest, socially important and commercially sexy, modern movies about gay and transgender people are among the better works of contemporary Vietnamese cinema.

Partner Content