Sexuality-Related Conditions: A Multistakeholder Approach to Explore Feasibility of Field-Testing ICD-11 Revisions in Developing Countries

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The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is in the process of being revised. Sexuality-related conditions have been identified as a key area for revision, with the aim of improving clinical utility. Proposed revisions will be field-tested to evaluate their cultural sensitivity, relevance, and appropriateness across developed and developing world contexts. Brazil, Lebanon, Mexico, and South Africa have been identified as potential field-testing sites. The purpose of this article is to describe a multistakeholder consultative approach to explore the feasibility of field studies in these countries. A broad spectrum of ∼30 stakeholders, including health and allied health professionals, legal and human rights advocates, and government sector and civil society representatives, were approached in each of these countries and invited to participate in 3-day workshops to develop potential field-testing protocols. Engagement with these stakeholders revealed challenges for initiating field-testing in these contexts, the most common being the limited access to sexual health treatment facilities for conducting clinic-based research. Potential protocols that accommodated local resources and infrastructure were developed. Secondary outcomes included the broadening of networks for professionals working in the area of human sexuality, mapping of services currently available for sexuality-related conditions locally, increased awareness and discussion about sexuality-related conditions, and the intersection with human and sexual rights.

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