December 7, 1994

Homosexuality in the International Classification of Diseases: A Clarification

Author Affiliations

World Health Organization Geneva, Switzerland
University of Geneva Geneva, Switzerland

JAMA. 1994;272(21):1660. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520210044029

To the Editor.  —We have read with interest the essay "The Experience of Gay and Lesbian Students in Medical School" by Tinmouth and Hamwi1 in your journal. We would like to comment on a phrase in the second paragraph, where the author states that the International Classification of Diseases2 of the World Health Organization "still maintains homosexuality as a medical diagnosis."The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10)2 is a statistical tool that can be used by member states for reporting about people who contact health care facilities. In the ninth revision of the ICD (1977), homosexuality was classified under code 302.0, with an instruction to "code homosexuality here whether or not it is considered as a mental disorder." Although the ICD never stated that homosexuality should be regarded as a disease, this formulation carried a risk of misinterpretation.The 10th revision of

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