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Buenos Aires

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OVERVIEW

As the capital of Argentina, you will find many health care resources in Buenos Aires. Contraception (birth control) is fully legal, and you can find birth control pills, IUDs, shots and patches in Buenos Aires. There are some recommended gynecologists that are known to be foreigner-friendly and especially hospitable (see details in "Gynecological Exams" section). You can also obtain emergency contraception ("the morning after pill") at pharmacies, public hospitals or health centers. You can purchase pads and tampons in grocery stores, and there is one known seller of menstrual cups in the country. There is no PrEP access but there are many STI testing sites, and there is a national HPV vaccination program in place. For pregnancy, there are some recommended ob/gyns that we have listed in the "Pregnancy" section. Finally, abortion is generally illegal and is only permitted in very specific circumstances, some of which have grey-area legal status. For this reason, there is a large underground economy of clandestine abortions. Some of these are performed in unsafe conditions, so caution should be exercised. General public opinion toward abortion has liberalized in the last decade, yet the country still remains a difficult place for women with unwanted pregnancies.

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 Argentina, contraception is legal and widely available. It is estimated that about 61% of Argentine women use some form of modern contraception, and that 40% are on birth control pills.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Yasmin pills purchased in Argentina
Yasmin pills purchased in Argentina
  • For a list of contraceptive options available in Argentina, click here.
  • You can buy condoms at pharmacies for AR$10-$30 (three-pack) or up to AR$67 (12-pack).
  • If you would like to get birth control pills ("pastillas anticonceptivas" in Spanish), they can be purchased in pharmacies without a prescription for about AR$30-$120. Farmacity is a popular pharmacy chain. Some brands you can expect to see are Ovrette, Marvelon, Microlut, Microval, Diane-35, Duoluton, Eugynon, Neogynon, Nordiol, Ovral, Microgynon, Microvlar, Nordette, Miranova and others. To see which pills are available in Argentina, check out IPFF Argentina, Alfabeta, Kairos. Please note that Argentina has strict importation laws, so be careful to NOT bring in any birth control pills that aren't permitted in Argentina.
  • If you're interested in the contraceptive ring (like Nuvaring), you can get it at Farmacity for AR$240.
  • If you want an IUD, you can get the IUD insertion at a hospital or health center. While you can get it done at a public hospital, you'll find that only non-hormonal IUDs are available. They last for 10 years. If you want the hormonal IUDs, which last for 5 years, you'll need to go to a private hospital. For Mirena, it's about $1700 pesos. The copper IUD (not industria argentina) costs around $500-700 pesos.
    • Recommendation: "Dr. Claudia María Battista is a gynecologist based in Recoleta (3rd floor, Arenales 1611, 4811 6127) who can administer both hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs, after a medical consultation. The best option for each patient and the price of the IUD must be discussed with the doctor, and Dr. Battista speaks English, if your Spanish is not up to par to discuss your reproductive system."[1]
  • If you want a contraceptive control shot/injectable ("inyección" in Spanish), you can find Cyclofem, Cyclofemina, Dahlia, Depo-Provera, Mesigyna and Perlutal in Argentina. You can probably get the injections for free at public hospitals and health centers, like Hospital General de Agudos A. Zubizarreta or Hospital General de Agudos B. Rivadavia. If you would like to get it at Farmacity, you can get it for around AR$40. Since some pharmacies in Buenos Aires don't carry the shot, you should confirm a stable place to get an injection before you commit to shots.
  • If you want the contraceptive implant ("implante" or "anticonceptivo subcutáneo" in Spanish), this has been available in Argentina since 2012.
  • If you're interested in the contraceptive patch ("parche" in Spanish), you can get it a pharmacies, like Farmacity. It's not covered by the public health system, so expect to pay around AR$150-$200.

Contraceptive Options[edit]

  • You can buy condoms ("preservativos" in Spanish) at pharmacies and supermarkets for $10-30 ARS, but generally around 15 ARS, for a three-pack, or up to $67 ARS for a 12-pack.
  • If you would like to get birth control pills ("pastillas anticonceptivas" in Spanish), they can be purchased in pharmacies without a prescription for about 3$0-120 ARS. Farmacity is a popular pharmacy chain. Some brands you can expect to see are Ovrette, Marvelon, Microlut, Microval, Diane-35, Duoluton, Eugynon, Neogynon, Nordiol, Ovral, Microgynon, Microvlar, Nordette, Miranova and others. To see which pills are available in Argentina, check out IPFF Argentina, Alfabeta, Kairos. Please note that Argentina has strict importation laws, so be careful to NOT bring in any birth control pills that aren't permitted in Argentina.
  • If you're interested in the contraceptive ring (like Nuvaring), you can get it at Farmacity for $240 ARS.
  • If you want an IUD, you can get the IUD insertion at a hospital or health center. While you can get it done at a public hospital, you'll find that only non-hormonal IUDs are available. They last for 10 years. If you want the hormonal IUDs, which last for 5 years, you'll need to go to a private hospital. For Mirena, it's about $1700 ARS. The copper IUD (not industria argentina) costs around $500-700 ARS.
  • If you want a contraceptive control shot/injectable ("inyección" in Spanish), it can be purchased at public and private health care facilities. If you have a prescription, you can also get it directly from the pharmacy.[2] You may be able to find brands like Cyclofem, Cyclofemina, Dahlia, Depo-Provera, Mesigyna and Perlutal in Argentina. You can probably get the injections for free at public hospitals and health centers, like Hospital General de Agudos A. Zubizarreta or Hospital General de Agudos B. Rivadavia. If you would like to get it at Farmacity, you can get it for around $30 ARS or 40 ARS. Since some pharmacies in Buenos Aires don't carry the shot, you should confirm a stable place to get an injection before you commit to shots.
  • If you want the contraceptive implant ("implante" or "anticonceptivo subcutáneo" in Spanish), this has been available in Argentina since 2012. However, they are not commonly used, so you may need to go to a specialized provider to obtain the insertion procedure.
  • If you're interested in the contraceptive patch ("parche" in Spanish), you can get it a pharmacies, like Farmacity. It's not covered by the public health system, so expect to pay around $150-$200. In 2016, Farmacity quoted the price as $168 ARS.[3]

Additional Information[edit]

Costs[edit]

Due to government subsidies, birth control pills should be free in Argentina for Argentine nationals.[4] [5] If you're a foreigner, we're not sure what costs you will need to pay at pharmacies (if you do know, please update this page with the info).

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. Copper IUDs may also prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

Emergency contraception is legal and can be accessed without a prescription.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

In Buenos Aires, you can obtain emergency contraception (also known as "the morning after pill"). In Spanish, it's called "anticoncepción hormonal de emergencia." You can get EC at public hospitals or health centers for free (for 24 hours/day) after a medical consultation. You can also visit a pharmacy, like Farmacity (many of them are open 24 hours), and purchase EC. There are no age restrictions.

  • Some of the dedicated emergency contraception brands you can expect to find in pharmacies are Norgestrel Max Unidosis, Postinor 1 and Segurite UD (for all of these, take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex). You can also find Norgestrel-Max, Ovulol and Postinor-2 (for all of these, take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex).[6]
  • If you can't access dedicated emergency contraception, you can use oral contraceptive (regular birth control pills) as emergency contraception. For progestin-only pills, you can take Ovrette (take 40 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex). You can also take Microlut or Micronova (take 50 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex). For combined progestin-estrogen pills, remember that, in 28-day packs, only the first 21 pills can be used. Of these, you can take Duoluton, Eugynon, Neogynon, Nordiol or Ovral (take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 2 more pills 12 hours later). You can take Microgynon, Microvlar or Nordette (take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later). You can also take Miranova (take 5 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 5 more pills 12 hours later).[7]

Costs[edit]

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)[edit]

Anyone can be affected by STIs. It's possible to have one without having symptoms and so if you've had unprotected sex it's important you have a screen.

Important Note - 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.

Rates of HIV in Argentina are increasing - whilst some groups are affected more than others (men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers and intravenous drug users), anyone can get it and it's vital you are tested if you're having unprotected sex.

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]

You can enter the country if you're HIV+. There are no travel restrictions applied to anyone with STIs. However, according to the National AIDS Law No 23.798, all immigrants are required to take HIV tests.[8]

The Argentine government has taken some steps to address the increasing HIV/AIDS rate. The national AIDS response receives 98% of its funding from domestic funds, and the mayor of Buenos Aires pledged to Fast-Track the AIDS response in Buenos Aires in 2015.[9]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Testing Facilities[edit]

You can get tested at tons of public hospitals in Buenos Aires. The wait times will be longer but costs will be very low, and potentially free. For the full list, click here.Also, here are some well-known public hospitals:

  • Hospital Ramos Mejía: Address: Gral. Urquiza 609, C1221ADC Buenos Aires, Argentina, Phone: +54 11 4931-1884
  • Hospital Argerich: Address: Av. Almte Brown 202, Cdad. Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Hospital Fernández: Address: Cerviño 3356, C1425AGP CABA, Argentina. Phone: +54 11 4808-2600.
  • Hospital Vélez Sarsfield: Address: Pedro Calderón de la Barca 1550, C1407KQF CABA, Argentina. Phone: +54 11 4639-8700.

If you would like to get tested at a private facility, the costs will be higher. But the wait times will be faster and facilities will generally be nicer:

  • Hospital Aleman: Open 24 hours. Tests were about $130p in 2011. Address: Av Pueyrredón 1640, C1118AAT CABA, Argentina, Phone: +54 11 4827-7000.
  • Swiss Medical: They have locations all over the city so check the website.
  • Clinica La Sagrada Familia: Small clinic. Does health checks for around $120p. Address: José Hernández 1642, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina - Tel: (5411) 6343-7800
  • Ceusa Leah: Address: Pueyrredón 768 1º Piso CP 1032 - Capital Federal Tel / Fax: 4961-8348 / 4962-3505 email: info@ceusa-laeh.com.ar
  • Nexo Asociación Civil: Does HIV rapid test. Address: Avda. Callao 339 6 A y B, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina -0800 345 6396, info@nexo.org, Monday to Friday, 15:30-21:00
  • Hospital Fernandez: Address: Cerviño 3356, C1425AGP CABA, Argentina, Phone: +54 11 4808-2600.
  • Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires: Address: Perdriel 74, C1280AEB Buenos Aires, Argentina. Phone: +54 11 4309-6400

Support[edit]

  • Fundación Huesped: Focuses on sexual and reproductive rights and helping people with HIV. Operating since 1989.
  • Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer: Focuses on helping women and health programs; organizes conferences.
  • FUNDAMIND: Offers job assistance, education, etc. Helps kids with HIV.
  • UNAIDS Argentina: "The goal of UNAIDS is to lead and inspire the world in Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-deaths." Alberto Stella, UNAIDS Country Director, Telephone: + 54 11 4328 4365. Fax: + 54 11 4328 2253, Email: STELLAA@UNAIDS.ORG.

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • If you have a yeast infection ("infección por levaduras" in Spanish), you can ask the pharmacist for Fluconazole, which is antifungal medication. They'll be able to give you Fluconazole or something similar.
  • If you have a urinary tract infection ("Infecciones de las vías urinarias" in Spanish), you can contact a doctor/pharmacist to find out next steps.
  • There has been a national HPV vaccination program in Argentina since 2011. The target age for vaccination is 11 years old, and it was estimated that 50% of the target population was vaccinated in 2013.[10]
  • There is currently no official PrEP program in Argentina.

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]

In Buenos Aires, you can find pads, tampons and pantyliners. Pads are the easiest to find in supermarkets, pharmacies and corner stores. You can purchase tampons in Argentina; they'll typically be non-applicator brands, like OB. If you want a menstrual cup, you can buy a MoonCup at COPA ECOLÓGICA (Tomás Le Bretón 4933 Villa Urquiza Buenos Aires, Capital Federal 1431 Argentina (011) - 11564171648). For DivaCup, LadyCup or Lunette, you'll need to buy them online since there are no local sellers in Argentina.

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Dr. Liliana Rossi: "I can't recommend her highly enough!" " She explains everything, listens, asks questions... just perfect. Her praxis rooms are friendly, warm and clean." This ob/gyn has been recommended; supposed to be a good listener and speaks English. Pap for $40 without insurance (in 2010). Address: Rosario 188 1° "B", Capital Federal, Argentina. Phone: 4901-2475
  • Dra. Battista, Claudia María: Address: "She was lovely." Speaks Spanish and maybe English too. Av. Santa Fe 1675 2° "A", Recoleta, 815-4802 y 15-4448-4733, Email: claudiabattista@fibertel.com.ar.
  • Dra. Adriana Vilariño: She speaks Spanish and English, and she's been recommended. Address: Av. Santa Fe 3069 2° "B" - Recoleta. Phone: 4822-8484, 4822-2424, 4826-7090.
  • Clinica de la Mujer / Dra Bernardino: "Young, smart, speaks English. Clean office." Address: Av. Libertador 16.606 / San Isidro, Tel: 4742-0205 / 4743-7855
  • 8197 - Dra. Campos, Liliana Beatriz: "Liliane is excellent and was a consumate professional in the birth of our son here 2 years ago. " Marcelo T. de Alvear 2345 4° "B", Recoleta, 4826-0209 y 4823-9058
  • Dra. Graciela Gerardi: Scalabrini Ortiz 2356 3 floor A. Tel. 4831 9842 and cel: 155 695 9269
  • CERIM: bilateral mammogram - 400 pesos, vaginal sonogram - 150 pesos, breast sonogram 170 pesos, bone density 100 per area. Address: Azcuenaga 970. Tel 4965 2500

Costs[edit]

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Dr. Federico del Giudice - Grupo Medico Lomas de San Isidro (in the northern suburbs of Buenos Aires): "I have never met such a caring OB/GYN and would highly recommend him if you're thinking about having a baby. He was recommended to me by another expat and I'm so grateful for her recommendation."[11]
  • Doctor, Armando Cardahi: "He is an obstetrician and fertility specialist. He has an office in Pilar and Capital, and works with Suizo Argentino Maternity. He was the dr. who did my c-section and he is very very good and nice. He also speaks good English and understands everything. As I was practicing my Spanish he preferred using English with me." Address: Vicente Lopez 1857. Phone number is: 4801-0583[12]

Costs[edit]

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]

NOTE: Visit the Argentina page for a complete survey of Argentine abortion stigmas and laws.

The penalty for an illegal abortion is up to four years in prison for the person who performed the abortion. However, in order to penalize the physician, the police must actually find a person performing an illegal abortion. This makes the prosecution rather difficult. There are reports of police wire-tapping the phones of at least one abortion clinic in order to prosecute the physicians.[13]

For many years, Argentine abortion laws only permitted abortion in cases when the woman's life was endangered. In March 2012, the provisions were expanded after a landmark case, in which the Supreme Court allowed a 15-year old who was raped by stepfather to obtain an abortion. As a result, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion in cases of rape should not be criminalized, and they ruled that a sworn affidavit confirming the rape would be enough to allow the abortion.[14] There has not been a formal discussion of revision of abortion laws in Argentine political life. However, it appears that public opinion is gradually changing. In 2003, a poll found that 30% of Argentines thought abortion should be permitted "regardless of situation," 47% thought it should be permitted "under certain circumstances" and 23% thought that abortion should never be permitted. Later, in September 2011, the same poll showed that 45% of Argentines thought abortion should be permitted for any reason.[15]

In August 2018, the Argentine Senate narrowly rejected a bill that would have legalized abortion.[16]

It is estimated that half a million abortions happen in Argentina each year, which would be 40% of all pregnancies.[17] Unfortunately, many of these clandestine abortions are performed in unsafe conditions or by unqualified personnel. The number one cause for maternal mortality rates in Argentina is unsafe abortions, which is estimated to be about to 31% of maternal deaths.

As stated in a 2005 Human Rights Watch Report on abortion in Argentina, "The criminalization of abortion leads women to take desperate measures, such as attempting to abort with knitting needles, rubber tubes, parsley sprigs, or the use of abortive medicines without adequate medical assistance. It also enables clandestine abortion 'clinics' to operate with little regard for women’s health and lives. When women hemorrhaging or suffering from life-threatening infections or injuries caused by botched abortions show up at public hospitals, health care personnel sometimes scorn them and deny them treatment. Doctors performing post-abortion curettage—the highly painful scraping of a woman’s uterus with a sharp instrument—sometimes do so without anesthesia. Women who fear criminal proceedings are discouraged from seeking necessary post-abortion care, often to the serious detriment of their health. Some women who have had abortions are sentenced to prison, in a further assault on their human rights."[18]

There have been reported difficulties for women seeking abortions, due to the fears expressed by physicians. As reported in Argentina Independent, "For poor women, public hospitals are often the only available option. Yet frequently, fear of legal repercussions, or a personal moral stance, leads health professionals in public hospitals to demand judicial authorisation before agreeing to terminate the pregnancy, despite the fact that it is not required by law. For their part, some judges likewise refuse to authorise the practice, arguing that they only have a role once the abortion has already been performed."[19]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can potentially purchase the "abortion pill" through Women on Waves. Check out their website for details.
  • In Argentina, there is a abortion hotline for women who have unwanted pregnancies: Tel: (011) 156 664 7070
  • There is a Sexual Health Helpline that you can consult for information: Tel: 0800-222-3444 (toll-free)

Costs[edit]

There were reports of relatively "safe" abortions being performed for around 1500 pesos in 2007 -- and, while the prices have surely gone up since 2007, it's hard to verify the current prices.[20] However, some abortion providers supposedly charge 20,000-40,000 pesos as of 2015.

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Police & general emergencies (dial *31416 from a mobile phone): Call 101 and 911
  • Ambulance and Medical Emergencies: Call 107
  • Tourist Police: Call 0800-999-5000 / 0800-999-2838.
  • City Government Services: Call 147 (Mon-Fri 7.30am-8.30pm; Sat, Sun & public holidays 08.30am-2.30pm)
  • If you are a victim of domestic violence or gender-based violence, there are shelters that may be able to house you or help you. For a complete list, please refer to the Domestic Violence Guide from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • Asociacion Civil La Casa Del Encuentro: Focuses on women’s social networks. Lobbies for policies to combat all forms of violence, abuse and discrimination against women and children. Address: 1204 De, Rivadavia 3917, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Phone: +54 11 4982-2550

References[edit]

  1. The Bubble’s Guide to Not Getting Pregnant in Buenos Aires
  2. How To Avoid Pregnancy Scares In Buenos Aires
  3. How To Avoid Pregnancy Scares In Buenos Aires
  4. All Of The Countries Where Birth Control Is Free
  5. Here's a map of the countries where the pill is fully subsidized (it includes Iran)
  6. Princeton EC Website
  7. Princeton EC Website
  8. ARGENTINA - REGULATIONS ON ENTRY, STAY AND RESIDENCE FOR PLHIV
  9. Mayors of Santiago and Buenos Aires pledge to accelerate the AIDS response in their cities
  10. Argentina: Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2016
  11. Gynocologist OB in Buenos Aires
  12. Female Gynecologist
  13. Argentina’s Doctors Perform Half a Million Illegal Abortions a Year, But Legalization Still Seems Unlikely
  14. Rape victims struggle to get legal abortions in Argentina
  15. Abortion in Argentina
  16. Argentina’s Senate Narrowly Rejects Legalizing Abortion
  17. Argentina’s Doctors Perform Half a Million Illegal Abortions a Year, But Legalization Still Seems Unlikely
  18. Obstacles to the Right to Decide in Matters Concerning Abortion
  19. Abortion in Argentina: Unsafe and Unattainable
  20. Abortion in Argentina: Fact and Fantasy