Transgender identity should be classified as a medical condition and not a mental illness, according to HIV experts as reported by Pink News. The issue was raised at the second International Experts' Meeting on HIV Prevention for MSM, WSW [men who have sex with men, and women who have sex with women] and Transgenders in Amsterdam last November.

A report unveiled at the conference, titled Moving From Intentions to Action, argues that classifying transgender identity as a mental illness further stigmatizes this community.

“Gender identity variance (transgender identity) should be reclassified from its current classification as a mental health disorder in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (ICD),” the report said. “Instead it should be classified as a medical condition. This would provide a diagnostic category in the ICD that would accommodate the needs of those gender identity variant people who require medical care for their condition, but without the stigma attached to mental disorder.”

Homosexuality was once classified as a mental illness. The American Psychiatric Association removed it from its list of mental disorders in 1973, and the World Health Organization did the same in 1990.