Malta rights and health:  It’s a double edged sword: Malta get high marks of LGBT rights and low marks for LGBT health.


Malta, Belgium and the U.K. are the best for LGBT rights; Latvia, Lithuania and Poland are the worst.
Malta continued to legislate for greater equality in 2016, adding to existing standards and also establishing new anti-discrimination measures. The first adoption was finalized following the introduction of joint adoption for same-sex couples in 2014. The age at which individuals can independently opt for legal gender recognition under the 2015 legislation was reduced from 18 to 16-years of age. Following additional amendments to the 2015 Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act, trans prisoners will now be able to be housed according to their lived gender. Trans identities are also no longer classified as a mental illness or disorder. A policy on trans, intersex and gender variant inmates was also launched in the summer. (photo Malta central)
The most high-profile change in 2016 was the fact that Malta became the first country in Europe to outlaw so-called  ‘conversion therapy’, introducing fines and prison sentences for those who offer these harmful practices. In 2017 the highest profile change was the approval of same-sex marriage. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat saluted the vote that Maltese society had reached “an unprecedented level of maturity. We live in a society where we can all say ‘we are equal,’” A spontaneous celebration happened outside his office in , the capital. “The law’s passage is the latest evidence of the transformation of Malta”, a once-conservative nation of about 440,000 people where divorce was illegal until 2011.




New research published this week in the “Lancet” shows a sharp upward trend in HIV diagnosis rates among adults over 50 in Europe. What explains this alarming increases, and how can we reduce transmission risk? Conducted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the study examined the diagnoses rates of 31 European countries via their collected health data, exploring trends between the 2004 and 2015. The researchers also compared the trends by age, looking at HIV diagnosis rates among adults over 50 with those of 15- to 49-year-olds. Researchers found that, during the monitoring period, HIV diagnoses rates were higher among the older adults, significantly increasing over time. (photo Malta harbor)

The highest increases in HIV infection occurred in Estonia, Latvia, Malta and Portugal, but the UK, Ireland and Germany also experienced significant increases. What’s more, while the rate of new diagnoses remained relatively steady among the 15 to 49 age group, there was a significant year-on-year increase of 2.1 percent for the older age group in 28 of the European nations. While we know that certain communities — like men who have sex with men, or MSM – face stubborn HIV rates, these individuals were not the only ones impacted by this rise. HIV infection rates increased among MSM in both age groups during the 2004 to 2015 review, but the majority of the cases resulted from heterosexual sexual encounters. In younger people, rates went down, while they remained constant among the older group. And while HIV cases related to intravenous drug use decreased among young people, they actually increased in the older group.