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Athens

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Athens / Greece
Athens, Greece.jpg

OVERVIEW

As an EU member state, Greece follows general Southern European standards related to sexual and reproductive health care. You can purchase birth control pills without a prescription at pharmacies. Furthermore, you can also purchase emergency contraceptive pills (the morning after pill) without a prescription at pharmacies, though most pharmacies are closed during the evenings and weekends. There are many providers of STI tests and, at some clinics, you can find free HIV tests. Abortion is fully legal and available upon request in the first trimester of pregnancy. However, parental written consent is required for minors who wish to obtain an abortion. Following the first trimester, abortion is legal in certain circumstances, which we detail in the "Abortion" section. From a historical perspective, Greece has faced periods with rather stringent laws related to reproductive health, and family planning was actually illegal until 1980. However, the country has liberalized over the years, both politically and socially, and one can find many health care resources in Greece today.

Contraception (Birth Control)[edit]

General Note: There are many types of contraceptives, also known as "birth control," including IUDs, oral contraceptives, patches, shots, and condoms, etc. If you would like to view a full list, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Greece, birth control is available at pharmacies, clinics or health centers without a prescription.[1] [2] However, modern contraceptive methods, like birth control pills, IUDs or injectables, are less commonly used in Greece than in many other Southern European countries. It's been estimated that 68.7% of Greek women (who are married/in unions and of reproductive age) use any form of birth control, including traditional methods, and about 10% of women had unmet family planning needs. By far, the most common contraceptive methods are condoms (33.9%) and withdrawal, also known as the "pull-out method" (21.7%). Meanwhile, there are low usage rate for most other modern contraceptive methods, such as birth control pills (4.8%), IUDs (3.6%), female sterilization (3.6%). There was an estimated 1.1% of women who used the rhythm method. According to 2015 data, there were practically no women who used contraceptive injectables (0.0%) or contraceptive implants (0.0%).[3]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Yasminelle purchased in Greece for 10 euro
  • You should be able to find condoms, birth control pills and some other forms of contraception at pharmacies (φαρμακείο, which are pronounced as "farmakeío"). They can be identified by a green cross symbol typically found near or above the entrance. However, you should be aware that the pharmacies are not typically 24-hours (they tend to be open during normal business hours), and many close during the weekend. Generally speaking, the prices and hours of Greek pharmacies are tightly controlled by the government[4], so they tend to be rather standardized. To find the operating hours of various pharmacies in Athens, click here. You can also call 11850 (available 24 hours) to find which pharmacy is near you.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Day Care Centre: Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as "MSF", or Doctors without Borders in English) has opened a Day Care center in central Athens to care for the needs of the refugee and asylum-seeking community. They have interpreters in Arabic and Farsi. They provide help with family planning, as well as many other needs related to sexual and reproductive health care. Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 to 16:00; Address: Solonos street 133, Athens; Telephone: +30 210 3839372 for more information.

Costs[edit]

Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)[edit]

Important Notes: Emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy for three days (72 hours) and sometimes five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. Take EC as soon as possible after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. If you don't have access to dedicated EC, oral contraceptives can be used as replacement EC, but remember the following: 1) Only some contraceptives work as EC 2) Different contraceptives require different dosages and time schedules to work as EC 3) You must only use the first 21 pills in 28-day packs and 4) They may be less effective than dedicated EC. For general information on emergency contraceptives, click here and here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Greece, you can purchase emergency contraceptive pills (the morning after pill) without a prescription at pharmacies. Proof of age is not required.[5] You should be able to legally access UPA emergency contraceptives, like ellaOne, without a prescription.[6] Meanwhile, there may be other brands or types of emergency contraception that technically require a prescription, but anecdotal evidence suggests that you can get these brands without a prescription at many pharmacies.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • In Greece, you can access dedicated emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs). You can find anti-progestin ECPs, like ellaOne (take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex). You can also find progestin-only ECPs, like NorLevo 1.5mg or Postinor 1500 (for both of these brands, take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex).[7] [8]
  • The longest-lasting EC is currently ellaOne, and it's available in Greece. It lasts up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex.
  • Note about the pharmacies: You should be able to find ECPs at pharmacies (φαρμακείο, which are pronounced as "farmakeío"). They can be identified by a green cross symbol typically found near or above the entrance. However, you should be aware that the pharmacies are not typically 24-hours (they tend to be open during normal business hours), and many close during the weekends. Generally speaking, the prices and hours of Greek pharmacies are tightly controlled by the government[9], so they tend to be rather standardized. To find the operating hours of various pharmacies in Athens, click here. You can also call 11850 (available 24 hours) to find which pharmacy is near you.
  • If you can't access dedicated emergency contraception, you can use regular birth control pills as replacement ECPs. To do this in Greece, you can take any of the following pills (Take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 2 more pills 12 hours later): Eugynon, Neogynon, Nordiol or Ovral. You can also take any of these following pills (Take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later): Microgynon-30, Nordette.[10]
  • Copper IUDs may also prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

Costs[edit]

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)[edit]

Important Notes - Learn about PEP and PrEP: If you think that you've been recently exposed to HIV (i.e. within 72 hours), seek out PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a month-long treatment to prevent HIV infection after exposure, and it may be available in your city. Take PEP as soon as possible. For more information, click here. If you are at risk of HIV exposure, seek out PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a daily oral pill that can prevent HIV infection before exposure. To learn more about PrEP, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Greece, there are no specific laws aimed at people with HIV. This means that, if you are a non-Greek citizen and you plan to visit the country, you will not be asked for medical certificates or proof of HIV-negative status.[11] There are also anonymous testing sites, community-based testing and counseling (before and after testing) in Greece.[12]

In the past, there were reported roundups of sex workers who were suspected to be HIV-positive, and such sex workers were often forced to be tested by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.[13] If they were found to be HIV-positive, they were accused of causing bodily harm to other people, and they faced potential criminal charges and/or deportations. However, in 2015, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced the repeal of Public Health Decree 39A, which was the law used to justify these roundups.[14]

In Greece, it's estimated that about 20,000 people are living with HIV, according to 2015 data from the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. There are 14,500 registered people living with HIV and 6,500 HIV patients on ARV treatment. The majority of HIV transmissions are through sexual intercourse, including sex between men (44.1%) and heterosexual sex (17.4%), and intravenous drug use (13.2%).

Testing Facilities[edit]

  • In Greece, you can order STI tests from most physicians. There's a type of doctor in Greece called "dermatologist/aphrodisiologist," which is a health cover provider who covers dermatology as well as STIs. They can also potentially order tests directly from test centers, called "mikroviologos."
  • My Checkpoint: They provide free, confidential and rapid tests for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C with a pin-prick test. They say (translated to English) on their website, "We are here to help you feel confident and get acquainted with your sexual health, regardless of your sexual orientation, your gender identity, and the sexual practices you follow." They also seem to have PEP. Keep in mind that "ATH Checkpoint" runs daily from Monday to Saturday from 12:00 to 20:00, while "Thess Checkpoint" operates every Monday from 16:00 to 20:00, from Tuesday to Friday from 12:00 to 20:00 and every Saturday from 12:00 until 16:00. ATH Checkpoint Address: Pithataki 4, Monastiraki, Athens. Tel .: 210 33 10 400. Mon. - Sat: 12:00 - 20:00. Thess Checkpoint Address: Al. Svolos 15, Thessaloniki. Tel: 2310 282 284. Mon: 16:00 - 20:00, Tues: - Fri: 12:00 - 20:00, Sat: 12:00 - 16:00.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Day Care Centre: Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as "MSF", or Doctors without Borders in English) has opened a Day Care center in central Athens to care for the needs of the refugee and asylum-seeking community. They have interpreters in Arabic and Farsi. They can provide STI tests, as well as many other needs related to sexual and reproductive health care. Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 to 16:00; Address: Solonos street 133, Athens; Telephone: +30 210 3839372 for more information.

Support[edit]

Costs[edit]

In some regions, you can find HIV tests for free, but not in all regions.[15]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What To Get & Where To Get It[edit]

  • If you have a yeast infection, you can say that you have μυκητιασική λοίμωξη, which is pronounced as "mykitiasikí loímoxi."
  • If you have a UTI (urinary tract infection), you can say that you have ουρολοίμωξη, which is pronounced as "ouroloímoxi."
  • PrEP is not yet available in Greece, as of December 2017.[16]

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Claudia Schiementz: "She was great. I had a pap + gyno exam with her. I think was €80 in total though you'd have to call to double check." - Athens local
  • Dr. Dirk Krosdorf: Recommended by many Athens locals. Address: Strat. Al. Papagou 11, Privatpraxis, GR-14671 Nea Erythrea / Athen, Termine nach Vereinbarung. Tel: +30 210 6256837. Fax: +30 210 6256842. E-Mail: info@krosdorf.de
  • Venus Med: This clinic comes highly recommended by an Athens local, who said, "It wasn't the cheapest possible choice, but I felt well taken care of and could tell they really cared about their patients. Highly recommended." Their gynecological services include: General Gynaecological Problems, Fertility, Colposcopy, Menopause, Contraception, Incontinence, Regular Preventive Check-Up and Gynaecological Operations. Address: 4 Aiginitou & Vasilissis Sofias Corner, Athens, Greece. Phone: +30 21 0722 0444.
  • Dr. Melina Fokialaki: 2109211928, 1 Misaraliotou str, Koukaki
  • Dr. Karolina Koliopoulou" Recommended by an Athens local. Phone: +30 210 7239223
  • Dr. Manolis Doulgerakis: Recommended by an Athens local.
  • Dr. Michalis Rotas in Nea Smyrni: Recommended by an Athens local who calls him "the best!"
  • Dr. Panagiotis Belitsos, Obstetrician Gynecologist located in Kalithea. 60 euro for Pap and ultrasound. Email: panbelitsos@yahoo.com
  • "You can always go to ambelokopi there's a maternity hospital there and also they do woman checks etc there also I go there for 6monthly check ups first time I went I didn't need an appointment. Plus also if your unemployed but have amka they will see you without charge. The ladies there are good and speak English."
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Day Care Centre: Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as "MSF", or Doctors without Borders in English) has opened a Day Care center in central Athens to care for the needs of the refugee and asylum-seeking community. They have interpreters in Arabic and Farsi. They can provide gynecological exams, as well as many other needs related to sexual and reproductive health care. Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 to 16:00; Address: Solonos street 133, Athens; Telephone: +30 210 3839372 for more information.

Costs[edit]

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Greece, maternity leave is given to insured women for 56 days before the birth and 63 days after the birth. After pregnancy, employed mothers are allowed six months of maternity protection leave and reduced working hours leave.[17]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • I can strongly recommend Dr. Ioannis Zervomanolakis, he is amazing doctor. I gave birth here in Athens and everything went perfectly just because of him.
  • Venus Med: This clinic comes highly recommended by an Athens local, who said, "It wasn't the cheapest possible choice, but I felt well taken care of and could tell they really cared about their patients. Highly recommended." Their obstetrics services include: Antenatal Care, Ultrasound Assessment, Labour & Birth Care, Postnatal Care, Waterbirth and Vaginal Birth After Caesarian Section. Address: 4 Aiginitou & Vasilissis Sofias Corner, Athens, Greece. Phone: +30 21 0722 0444.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Day Care Centre: Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as "MSF", or Doctors without Borders in English) has opened a Day Care center in central Athens to care for the needs of the refugee and asylum-seeking community. They have interpreters in Arabic and Farsi. They can provide pregnancy care, as well as many other needs related to sexual and reproductive health care. Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 to 16:00; Address: Solonos street 133, Athens; Telephone: +30 210 3839372 for more information.

Abortion[edit]

Important Note: There are two main types of abortions: medical (also known as the "abortion pill") and surgical (also known as "in-clinic"). For medical abortions, you take a pill to induce abortion. For surgical abortions, a procedure is performed to induce abortion. For general information about medical and surgical abortions, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Greece, abortion is legal and available upon request during the first trimester (i.e. first twelve weeks) of pregnancy for adults.[18] For minors, parental written consent is required to obtain an abortion.[19] [20] Following the first trimester, abortions are permitted until the nineteenth week of pregnancy when the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest. Finally, abortions are permitted until the twenty-forth week of pregnancy when there is risk of fetal malformation.

Historically, Greece has faced some challenges related to abortion access and choice. In fact, family planning was illegal until 1980. This can be partially attributed to conservative cultural and religious beliefs. The Greek Orthodox Church considers abortion to be a crime and, under the Greek Penal Code of 1950, women who sought out abortions could face harsh punishment. In 1978, the Greek government passed Law No. 821, which permitted abortion in cases when the fetus faced a serious risk of malformation. However, it was not until 1986, with the passing of Law No. 1609, that abortion became available upon request. According to a UN report, "It is widely believed that the liberalization of the abortion law in Greece has made little difference in the abortion rate because, prior to its liberalization, a person performing an abortion or a woman undergoing an illegal abortion was rarely prosecuted. Indeed, it is believed that one of the main motives for the liberalization of abortion law was to preserve the integrity of the legal system, which was threatened by the increasing incidence of illegally performed abortions that were not prosecuted."[21]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can contact the Family Planning Association of Greece (FPAG), to learn about where you can get an abortion in Greece. Address: Alkaiou street 10, 115 28 Athens. Phone: 210 728 6332. Email: esop@ath.forthnet.gr

Costs[edit]

If you go to a public hospital, and if you're covered by Greek Social Security, the abortion may be covered. However, if you go to a private hospital/clinic/gynecologist, or if you're not covered by Greek Social Security, you will need to pay a fee, which will vary and depend on the provider.

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Emergency Numbers & Hotlines[edit]

  • Emergency: 112
  • Ambulance: 166
  • Fire Department: 199
  • Police: 100
  • Tourist Police: 171
  • Pharmacies: 107
  • Hospitals: 106
  • Suicide Hotline: 1018
  • General Helpline: (0) 30 210 34 17 164
  • Helpline for Victims of Abuse/Violence & Prevention of Violence: 15900. More info: "The telephone line SOS 15900 operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Aimed at women who receive physical, psychological, verbal, financial, sexual violence, women who have suffered rape or attempted rape, who have been victims of prostitution, trafficking or who have suffered sexual harassment. We also provide information to individuals and organisations about how to prevent and how to address violence against women."

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • To learn about LGBTQ rights and laws in Greece, click here.
  • Alliance Of Greek Professional Women: Voulis 44 A, Athens, Greece
  • Alliance Of Women's Rights: Maragkopoulou, Askilipiou 26, Athens, Greece, Tel: 30-1-361 62 36/362 46 75
  • Association of Interbalkan Women's Cooperation Societies: 30 Poutono-G Ppandreou , tr. 54655, Thessaloniki, Greece, Tel: 0030 31 42 22 70, Fax: 0030 31 42 22 71
  • The Association for the Prevention and Handling of Domestic Violence: Arnaldas 2, Apt. 4, P.O. Box 8722, Nicosia, Cyprus, Greece, Tel: 00357 2 365 055, Fax: 00357 2 442 184
  • Athens Pride: The official page for the Athens LGBTQ Pride Parade & Celebration.
  • Federation of Greek Women (OGE): Acadimas 52, 10679 Athens, Greece
  • General Secretariat for Gender Equality: Address: 8 Dragatsaniou str., 105 59 Athens, Greece, Telephone: 2131511102-103, Fax: 210 3315276 – 210 3231316, E-mail: info@isotita.gr
  • Library on Gender & Equality: Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 09:00 – 15:00, Address:, Charilaou Trikoupi 51 & Valtetsiou, 106 80, Athens., Telephone: 210 3215618, 210 3212094, Fax: 210 3212094, Ε-mail: library@isotita.gr
  • Greek Women's National Bar Association: Akadimias 64, Athens, Greece, Tel: 30-1-360 00 41
  • Hellenic Association Of University Women: This NGO is especially interested in issues related to the environment, education, family planning, health care, etc. Address: 44 a' Voulis Street, GR-105-57 Athens, Greece, Tel: 323 42 68
  • KEGME (Mediterranean Women's Studies Institute): 115, Harilaou Trikoupi Str., 114 73 Athens, Greece, Tel: 0030 1 361 39 68, Fax: 0030 1 361 56 60
  • Network Of East-West Women: 46, Ventouri St., 155-61 Holargos, Athens, Greece, Tel: 30-1-652-2198
  • Pancyprian Federation of Women's Organisations (POGO): 56 Kennedy Av., Abitcare Blvd. Flat 21, Nicosia, Cyprus, Greece, Tel: 00357 2 494 906, Fax: 00357 2 427 051
  • Transsexoyal: This is a Greek transgender organization/website.
  • Union of Greek Women (EGE): Ainianos 8, 10678 Athens., Tel: 823 4937
  • WISE: 1 Christopoulou St. 546 35, Thessaloniki, Greece, Tel: +031 997 451, Fax: 0031 997 432
  • Women for Mutual Security: 1, Romilias Str. , 14671 Kastri, Athens, Greece, Tel: +30-1-88-43202, fax 8012850
  • Women For Mutual Security: 46, Ventouri St. , 155-61 Holargos, Athens, Greece, Tel: 30-1-652-2198
  • Women's Association Protoporia: 32 Santaroza Street 135, Nicosia, Cyprus, Greece, Tel: 00357 2 302 542, Fax: 00357 2 360 243
  • Women's Association Protoporia: 25B Clementos Street, St. , Antonios, P.O. Box 2059, Nicosia, Cyprus, Greece, Tel: 00357 2 450 517, Fax: 00357 2 461 797
  • Women's Confederation Of Greece: Akadimias 52 and Asklipiou, Athens, Greece, Tel: 30-1-361 44 54/323 66 51
  • Women's Organization Protoporia: Protoporia, P.O. Box 2059, Nicosia, Cyprus, Greece
  • Women's Union Of Greece (E.G.E.): Ainianos 8, Athens, Greece, Tel: 30-1-823-49-37

References[edit]

  1. Global Oral Contraception Availability
  2. Free the Pill: Where on Earth
  3. Trends in Contraceptive Use 2015
  4. Greece has an absolutely absurd number of pharmacists
  5. Termination of Pregnancy and Abortion in Greece
  6. ECEC: Greece
  7. Princeton EC Website
  8. International Consortium for Emergency Contraception - Greece
  9. Greece has an absolutely absurd number of pharmacists
  10. Princeton EC Website
  11. Global Criminalisation Scan - Greece
  12. Testing Country Profile in 2015 - Greece
  13. Petition: Stop the forced testing and outing of sex workers
  14. Global Criminalisation Scan - Greece
  15. Testing Country Profile in 2015 - Greece
  16. PrEPWatch World Map
  17. Greece - Maternity and Birth Benefits
  18. Women on Waves - Greece
  19. World Abortion Laws Map - Greece
  20. Termination of Pregnancy and Abortion in Greece
  21. UN Report - Abortion Policy, Greece