Mexico: Ending Stigma and Discrimination in Health Centres in Mexico

Mexico has taken steps to strengthen access to health-care services by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. A new Ministry of Health code of conduct aims to put an end to stigma and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in all health centres in the country.

Establishing guidelines and specific actions for the provision of health-care services, the code of conduct will be implemented throughout the national health system to guarantee effective access to health by respecting the dignity and autonomy of LGBTI people.

The code of conduct provides for health personnel from public health facilities to be trained in avoiding discriminatory expressions and attitudes and to respect the confidentiality of patients. Among various provisions, it clearly stipulates that so-called treatment to “cure homosexuality or transexuality” must be avoided. It establishes that health centres should maintain a policy of zero tolerance for discrimination and must investigate accusations of discrimination. Health centres should also promote ongoing sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention campaigns focused on LGBTI people.

The code of conduct was developed through a broad participatory process that included the Coordinating Committee of the National Institutes of Health and High Specialty Hospitals, the National Center for HIV Prevention and Control, Specialized Condesa Clinic of Mexico City, the National Council for Preventing Discrimination and representatives of civil society and LGBTI organizations.

The next steps include a training process on its practical application, with the involvement of civil society and community-based organizations. The implementation will have a pilot phase and will begin in the largest cities in the country. Read more via UNAIDS