Ministry of Healths Study Recommends Decriminalization of Homosexuality in Morocco

Rabat – Morocco could become the first Arab country to decriminalize consensual same-sex relations if the PJD-led government accepts recommendations of a Health Ministry study. The study, conducted by ALSC association and the UN’s Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) on behalf of the Ministry of Health, recommends the decriminalization of homosexuality in Morocco in order to reach as many members of the gay community with HIV and other STDs prevention services.Conducted in 2013, the sample of the study comprise of 687 gay men in both Agadir and Marrakech who had same-sex relationships in the previous six months. The study has found a growing prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) within the gay community.Among the shocking findings, 56 per cent of respondents said they do not use condoms and that they have multiple sex partners.The report stresses the urgent need for more preventive services to the LGBT population in Morocco.The survey has found a difficulty in fighting against STDs among the gay community, mainly because of social stigma and criminalization of same-sex relationships.The report calls for policy changes that should include the decriminalization of homosexuality and the fight against the stigma associated with same-sex relationships.The authors of the survey also call for legal reforms and the promotion and protection of human rights in the kingdom.

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