Celebrating Community Leadership and Action On AIDS
Marsa Sexual Health Centre
kehpca_logoMarsa Sexual Health Centre provides marginalized, sexually active youth, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) individuals and people living with HIV full access to their sexual and reproductive health rights. Since March 2011 Marsa has offered over 2000 services for its community in Lebanon.



Introduction

Marsa was established as an independent entity in March 2011 as the first sexual health center in Lebanon. The aim of Marsa Sexual Health Center is to provide marginalized sexually active youth, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) individuals and people living with HIV full access to their sexual and reproductive health rights (such as psychotherapy, counseling, medical consultation, subsidized Sexually Transmitted Infections testing, subsidized Pap Smears etc...) in an anonymous and confidential setting. Marsa center is catering to a growing number of clients by offering its highly professional services. These services make confidentiality a huge priority to help fight stigma and discrimination. To this date for clients, the center has offered over 2000 services for the community. The clinic provides a safe space to unload their burdens and speak freely about sexuality and help them improve their knowledge regarding sex, sexuality and sexual health. Marsa is unique in the Middle East and North Africa in offering comprehensive and holistic sexual and reproductive health services to the youth and the general public regardless of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, sexual practices, political affiliations and economic status. At the same time Marsa is committed to prioritizing marginalized and economically challenged populations. Marsa’s staff is composed of a diverse team with backgrounds in public health, medical, psychosocial and communication studies. This fosters a multi-skilled and professional team. The center uses a participatory approach in directing its activities and production of knowledge material which allows for several professional perspectives in the field.

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Successes

Profile in Brief
Organisation
Marsa Sexual Health Center – Lebanon
Region
Beirut, Lebanon
Field of Work
Sexual transmission prevention
Advocating for abolishing punitive laws
Populations Served
Young people
Sex Workers
People who use drugs
Transgender populations
Founded
2010
Staff
3 full-time staff, 12 part-time staff, and 5 volunteers.
  • Marsa created an internal and external referral system which creates access to the young medical professionals who will tend to the vulnerable populations the organisation serves. This system highlights Marsa’s innovative approach to sex and sexuality in Lebanon.
  • Resident doctors are recruited for the medical consultations on a rotation basis. The future doctors are trained at the center which is a unique opportunity to gain expertise on sexual health on a local level. These doctors are influenced by the open-mindedness shown at the center and will in turn pass this open-mindedness on to future clients and they will train other professionals on the same ethics.
  • Recently, the center conducted a qualitative research project that determined the needs of the transgender populations that is often disregarded as a community. Marsa produced a pamphlet on sexually transmitted infections and a guide for contraception in Arabic and English.

Contact

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Address: Mexico street, Myrtom House Building, 2nd Floor
Beirut, Lebanon, 55391
Tel: +9611737647