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Baku

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Azerbaijan / Baku
Old and new Baku.jpg

OVERVIEW

In Azerbaijan, you will find a complex picture related to sexual and reproductive health care. On the one hand, Azerbaijan is a former Soviet state, meaning abortion has been legal since 1955. You need a prescription to obtain hormonal contraceptives, but you can find a variety of contraceptive options, such as pills and IUDs, and condoms can be purchased over-the-counter at pharmacies and some supermarkets. You can also obtain emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) at pharmacies without a prescription. There are no travel or residency restrictions related to HIV status. However, there are no known providers of PrEP in Azerbaijan and there is no nationwide HPV vaccination program, as of March 2018. Furthermore, homosexuality has been legal since 2000, and the fertility rate remains comparable to many developed nations at 1.89 children born/woman per child[1], which is roughly the same fertility rate as Sweden.

On the other hand, Azerbaijan is still a conservative country, in many respects. The country is predominantly Shi'a Muslim, and though it is not a profoundly religious country, it may be considered a traditional one. For many locals, especially older people, it may be taboo to openly discuss sexuality and sexual health. The country has also experienced slow growth of its health care system since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Local opinions of the health care system remain generally low[2], and there are still significant improvements to be made regarding the quality of care in the country. However, Azerbaijan has taken steps to improve its sexual and reproductive health care systems over the years, and it even halved the maternal mortality rate between 2007 and 2014.[3]

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 Azerbaijan, a prescription is required to obtain oral contraceptives (birth control pills).[4] [5] However, condoms can be easily purchased without a prescription.

According to a 2015 UN report, it was found that about 58% of Azerbaijani women (who are of reproductive age, and who are married or in unions) use any form of contraception, including traditional methods, and about 14% of women had unmet family planning needs. The most common contraceptive method was withdrawal, also known as the "pull-out method," which was used by about 30% of women. This was followed by IUDs, which were used by approximately 15% of women, and the rhythm method and condoms, both which was used by about 4% of women, respectively. All other contraceptive methods had very low rate of usage, such as birth control pills (about 2% of women) and female sterilization (0.7% of women). There were practically no recorded users of contraceptive injectables or implants.[6]

Personal Accounts Related to Contraception in Azerbaijan:

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can purchase condoms in Azerbaijan at pharmacies and some supermarkets. No prescription is required. You can also buy them online at online vendors, such as Care to Beauty, which sells brands like Durex.
  • You can legally purchase birth control pills at pharmacies in Azerbaijan, but a prescription is typically required. Some of the brands you can expect to see are Ovidon, Microgynon and Rigevidon. If you would like to visit a pharmacy that has English-speaking staff, you can try Hyatt Pharmacy
 (Location: Bul-Bul Prospect 30
; Tel: 4936161, 3616161) Caspian Pharmacy
 (Location: Bul-Bul Prospect 6
; Tel: 4987894) and Cheburashka Pharmacy
 (Location: Shikhali Gurbanov str. 17
; Tel: 4946036). For a complete list of pharmacies in Baku, click here.
  • You can find intrauterine devices (IUDs) in Azerbaijan, and many midwives have been trained by international workers on IUD insertion and removal techniques.[7]
  • We don't know if contraceptive rings, contraceptive patches, contraceptive implants and contraceptive injectables are available in Azerbaijan. If you have any information related to these topics, please update the page.

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. 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 Azerbaijan, you can purchase emergency contraceptive pills (morning after pills) without a prescription at pharmacies.[8][9] You will typically find ECPs for sale behind the counter at pharmacies (not in the shelves), so you will need to directly after the pharmacist for them.[10] The use of ECPs and IUDs as a form of emergency contraception is included in Reproduktiv sağlamlıq / Ailə planlaşdırılması üzrə klinik protokollar, which translates to "National Reproductive Health/Family Planning Clinical Protocol."

However, knowledge of emergency contraceptive pills remains low in Azerbaijan. In 2011, it was estimated that only about 7% of women (ages 15-49) had knowledge of ECPs.[11]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can legally purchase emergency contraceptive pills (morning after pills) over-the-counter at pharmacies. No prescription is required. Some of the brands you can expect to see Escapelle and Postinor.[12] For updated information on how to take these pills, you can visit the Princeton EC website If you would like to visit a pharmacy that has English-speaking staff, you can try Hyatt Pharmacy
 (Location: Bul-Bul Prospect 30
; Tel: 4936161, 3616161) Caspian Pharmacy
 (Location: Bul-Bul Prospect 6
; Tel: 4987894) and Cheburashka Pharmacy
 (Location: Shikhali Gurbanov str. 17
; Tel: 4946036). For a complete list of pharmacies in Baku, click here.
  • If you cannot access dedicated emergency contraception, you can use regular birth control pills. However, a prescription is typically required for birth control pills in Azerbaijan. You can use pills like Ovidon (take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 2 more pills 12 hours later), Microgynon (take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later) and Rigevidon (take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later).[13] For updated information on how to take these pills, you can visit the Princeton EC website.
  • You can also use an intra-urine device (IUD) as a a form of emergency contraception. You should consult with your physician or gynecologist to learn more information.

Costs[edit]

  • For Postinor pills, you can expect to pay around € 4.79, as of 2015. For Escapelle pills, you can expect to pay around € 5.22, as of 2015.[14]
  • The cost of emergency contraceptive pills (morning after pills) is not covered by social security in Azerbaijan.[15]

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 Azerbaijan, there are no travel or residency restrictions related to HIV/AIDS. This means that, if you're a foreigner, you won't need to provide a medical certificate or be subject to HIV tests if you choose to enter or reside in Azerbaijan. Furthermore, if you take an HIV test and you test positive, you will not be deported due to your results. You can also carry antiretroviral medication for personal use.[16] However, if you wittingly infect another person with HIV, you can be punished by the law.[17]

While the HIV rate for Azerbaijan is low (0.1% of the population, as of 2016[18]), the rate is growing. In fact, from 2004 to 2013, the rate of newly diagnosed HIV infections rose 358%, going from from 1.2 per 100 000 people in 2004 to 5.5 per 100 000 people in 2013.[19] The data suggests that Azerbaiijan is not doing enough to prevent HIV transmission in the country, especially among vulnerable populations, such as people who inject drugs (PWID), prisoners, men who have sex with men (MSM) and female sex workers (FSW). According to 2013 data, merely 10% of MSM, 3.5% of FSW and 7.7% of PWID had been tested. Meanwhile, the data also suggests that young women are increasingly becoming infected, as well, through heterosexual transmission. The country appears to have inadequate testing facilities, leading people to be diagnosed at very late stages to start antiretroviral therapy (ART). Furthermore, the majority of people who are diagnosed with HIV are not enrolled in HIV treatment and care (two-thirds of cases) and only half are started on ART.[20]

Testing Facilities[edit]

  • You can find HIV and other STI testing services at primary care facilities (such as public hospitals and private hospitals, like Central Clinical Hospital and MediClub), TB centers and certain mobile testing facilities. The mobile testing facilities have rapid HIV tests with same day results. While the mobile testing units aim to bring testing services to at-risk populations, such as injection drug users, prisoners, men who have sex with men (MSM) and female sex workers (FSM), studies have shown that it's still difficult for many people to find affordable and accessible HIV testing services in their area.[21]

Support[edit]

  • Outpatient services for people with HIV are found at the Republican AIDS Centre (RAC) in Baku. When patients visit RAC, they meet with doctors who write drug prescriptions for them and monitor their condition. RAC keeps a central registry of all known HIV-positive patients in the country. They receive about 30-50 visitors per day, as of 2014.
  • Inpatient services are also provided at the Republican AIDS Centre (RAC) in Baku. They have 20 in-patient beds. For patients with serious conditions, they may be referred to another hospital.

Organizations that Deal with HIV/AIDS in Azerbaijan:

  • UNAIDS - Azerbaijan - Contact Vinay Saldanha, Director, Regional Support Team for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Phone: +74956636784. Email: saldanhavp@unaids.org
  • Public Organization for Combating AIDS: Address: Baku, Azadliq ave.58\21, AZ10000. Telephone: +994 55 4087333. Email: aidsngo@mail.ru
  • Republic AIDS Center: Address: Mirgasimov st. 1/8, Baku, AZ1022. Telephone: +994 12 5100869. Fax: +994 12 4947353. Email: office@aids.az

Costs[edit]

If you go through the public health system (i.e. public hospitals, mobile testing units, etc), and if you're an Azerbaijani national, you should receive free HIV testing. If you go through the private health care system, or if you are not covered by the national health care system, you may need to pay a fee for HIV testing services.

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Pharmacy on old street in Azerbaijan

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • If you have a yeast infection ("maya yoluxma" in Azeri) in Azerbaijan, you can ask the pharmacist for Fluconazole.
  • There is currently no nationwide Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) program in Azerbaijan.[22] However, the country is exploring the possibility of launching a pilot program in the future.[23]
  • There is no nationwide HPV vaccination program or cervical cancer screening program in Azerbaijan, as of July 2017.[24]

Costs[edit]

Menstruation[edit]

Note: In addition to pads and tampons, you can also use menstrual cups and menstrual underwear for your period. To learn more about menstrual cups, click here. To learn more about menstrual underwear, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Azerbaijan, pregnant women are entitled to a total of 126 days of paid maternity leave, which generally consists of 70 days prior to the expected birth of the child and 56 days after the expected birth of the child. If there are special circumstances (for example, a difficult birth or the birth of two or more children), the mother may be entitled to up to 70 days of maternity leave after the birth. However, there is a different set of maternity laws for agricultural workers. If you are an agricultural worker in Azerbaijan, you are entitled to 140 days off for a normal delivery, 156 days off for a difficult delivery and 180 days off if you deliver two or more children. In total, 70 of the maternity days should still be taken off prior to the expected birth. As for fathers, they are entitled to 14 days of unpaid paternity leave after the birth of a child.[25]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

Maternity leave funds are equal to 100% of gross average monthly earnings over the previous 12 months, and they are covered by the State Social Protection Fund. While men are entitled to 14 days of paternity leave, their time off is unpaid.[26]

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 Azerbaijan, abortion is legally available upon request in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Following the first trimester, abortion is legal up to 28 week in certain circumstances, which include when the pregnancy causes psychological or physical harm, if there is risk of fetal malformation, or other grounds that are determined by a commission of local physicians.[27]

There is a problem of sex-selective abortion in Azerbaijan. Sometimes, women themselves choose to have an abortion if they know that the fetus is female, and sometimes family or community members may pressure them into having an abortion if the fetus is female. To learn more about this issue, you can read this 2016 report by Radio Free Europe and this 2010 study by the Guttmacher Institute.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Family Planning Centre: At: 12/14, Pushkin Street, Baku. Tel: (012) 498 64 87
  • Republican Perinatal Centre: At: 12, Y. Safarov Street, Khatai District, Baku. Tel: (012) 496 5146

Costs[edit]

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Fire Emergency Tel: 101
  • Police Emergency Tel: 102
  • Ambulance Emergency Tel: 103
  • State Migration Service Emergency Tel: 919
  • Ministry of Emergency Situations (for natural and man-made disasters): Hotline Tel: 112

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • Equaldex Azerbaijan: This webpage provides information on LGBTQ rights and laws in Azerbaijan.
  • Azerbaijan Women's Association: "The aims are to protect women's rights and to promote their active participation; to help refugees, families of dead soldiers, disabled, the elderly and orphans - all resulting from the consequences of war." Address: BOYUK GALA STREET, 6, AZ 1004 BAKU. Email: TRANSPAZ@AZERONLINE.COM. Tel: + 994 12 492 74 87. Fax: + 994 12 497 10 23
  • Counterpart International - Women's Participation Program in Azerbaijan: "Our Women’s Participation Program promotes gender equality and empowers women to become confident and capable leaders – whether that be in their government, workplace, community or family. We partner with and strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to provide women with skills and leadership training and raise public awareness about gender issues. We also work with government agencies to advocate for policy reforms allowing for more equal treatment and representation of women."
  • Azerbaijan Feminist Group: "The main purpose of our organization is to introduce feminist concepts and debates to women in Azerbaijan. Of special concern is the debate over equality under the law and access to equal opportunities in practice for women in Azerbaijan." Address: 28 May St. 3 Apt.11, Baku 370014 Azerbaijan. Telephone: (994 50) 310 32 48. Fax: (994 12) 93 80 71 / (994 12) 90 83 20. E-mail: tamilla@azeurotel.com
  • «Azeri - Turk» Women's Unit: Address 44, Aga Neimatulla str., Baku, 370033. Telephone (99412) 66 56 12 ; 98 93 39. Fax (99412) 90 65 64. Contact person: Tanzila Jabbarova
  • "Azerbaijan Gadin Huguglary Mudafiasy": 1 Injasanat Street, Baku 370000, Azerbaijan. Tel: 994 12/921483. Fax: 994 12/98-31-65.
  • Azerbaijan Gladinlary Baki Assosiasiyasi: 18 Bul-Bul pr. Baku 370000., Azerbaijan. Tel: 993 12/94-19-02. Fax: 994: 12/98-32-96
  • Centre "Gladin Ve Inkishaf": This is a women's development center. Address: 3/6 S Rustamov Street, apt. 65, Baku 370000., Azerbaijan. Tel: 994 12 / 67- 21-39. Fax: 994 12/92-56-99. E-mail: paolo@un.azerbaijan.su
  • Jewish Women's organisation of Azerbaijan: PO Box 159, Baku.370000, Azerbaijan. Tel: 994 12/96-36-27. Fax:994 12/38-79-07
  • The Unity "Ziyali Gadinlar" of Azerbaijan: 59 K. Tebriz Street, Baku 370000, Azerbaijan. Tel: 994 12/668806.
  • Women's Charitable Society "Tale": Government House, apt. 930, Baku 370000. Azerbaijan. Tel: 994 12/93
  • Azerbaijan Women and Development Centre: "The Azerbaijan Women and Development Centre is a non-governmental organization which offers services relating to health and family planning. The staff, consisting of five members, conducts researches, maintains a database, and participates in national and international conferences, seminars and workshops on gender and women's issues. The centre's library houses more than 1000 books and brochures on gender issues, as well as over 1000 photographs and several journals. Languages: English, Russian, Azerbaijan ". Address: 3-6, S. Rustamov st. 370001 Baku, Azerbaijan. Tel: +994 12 927 920 or +994 12 928 017.Fax: +994 12 983 235. E-mail: ramiz@unfpa.baku.az or ITPCHT@lan.ab.az
  • "Sulh" Women's Society: Towards women's peace: 54 Sabael Street, apt.25, Baku 370003, Azerbaijan. Tel: 994 12/39-56-51
  • "Azerbaijan Neftchy Gadinlar" Society: This is a society of women in the oil industry. Address: 73 Neftchilar avenue, Baku 370004, Azerbaijan. Tel: 994 12/92-06-85 . Fax: 994/12/92-32-04
  • Azerbaijan Women's Association: This association is affiliated with Aszerbaijan Academy of Sciences. Address: 6 Boyuk Gala Street, Baku 370004. Azerbaijan. Tel: 994 12/92-7487
  • "Umid" Analar Djaiyyaty of Azerbaijan Republik - Society of Mothers "Hope": 58 Nizami Street, Baku 370005, Azerbaijan. Tel:994 12/66-17-58
  • Association "Ishguzar Gadinlar": This is a businesswomen's association. Address: 215 Pervomaisakaya Street, Baku 370014, Azerbaijan. Tel: 994 12/92-30-22.
  • Centre "Shehyd Analary Gadinlar" of Azerbaijan: 2"A" Ataturk Street, Baku 370039, Azerbaijan. Tel: 994 12/93-96-21
  • Jewish Women's Society of Azerbaijan: 39 Sh. Badalbeily Street, Baku 370072, Azerbaijan. Tel: 994 12/66-17-58
  • The Society of Muslim Women "Famita-Zahra": 41 Tebriz Street, Gyandja 374747, Azerbaijan. Tel: 20556
  • Women's Committee of Azerbaijan - INICEF: 2 Istiglaiyat St., Baku 1, Azerbaijan
  • Women's Committee of Azerbaijan - INICEF: 3 Istiglaiyat St. , Baku 1, Azerbaijan

References[edit]

  1. CIA World Factbook - Azerbaijan
  2. Azerbaijan's Flawed Healthcare System
  3. Azerbaijan analyses reproductive health situation and develops strategic goals for 2017–2025
  4. Global Oral Contraception Availability
  5. Free the Pill: Where on Earth?
  6. Trends in Contraceptive Use Worldwide 2015
  7. USAID, Caucasus, Azerbaijan - Final Report (October 1, 2004 - September 29, 2010)
  8. Princeton EC Website
  9. EC Status and Availability: Azerbaijan
  10. ECEC: Azerbaijan
  11. ECEC: Azerbaijan
  12. Princeton EC Website
  13. Princeton EC Website
  14. ECEC: Azerbaijan
  15. ECEC: Azerbaijan
  16. AZERBAIDJAN - REGULATIONS ON ENTRY, STAY AND RESIDENCE FOR PLHIV
  17. Global Criminalisation Scan: Azerbaijan
  18. CIA World Factbook - Azerbaijan
  19. [http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/308000/Review-HIV-Programme-Azerbaijan-mission-report.pdf?ua=1 World Health Organization: Review of the HIV Programme in Azerbaijan, November 2014]
  20. [http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/308000/Review-HIV-Programme-Azerbaijan-mission-report.pdf?ua=1 World Health Organization: Review of the HIV Programme in Azerbaijan, November 2014]
  21. [http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/308000/Review-HIV-Programme-Azerbaijan-mission-report.pdf?ua=1 World Health Organization: Review of the HIV Programme in Azerbaijan, November 2014]
  22. PrEP Watch World Map
  23. PREP ACCESS IN EUROPE - PrEP in Europe Initiative (PiEi)
  24. Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases Report - AZERBAIJAN
  25. Parental Leave and Maternity Benefits
  26. Parental Leave and Maternity Benefits
  27. Azerbaijan: Abortion Law