Gynopedia needs your support! Please consider adding content, translating a page, or making a donation today. With your support, we can sustain and expand the website. Gynopedia has no corporate sponsors or advertisers. Your support is crucial and deeply appreciated.

Guyana

From Gynopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Flag of Guyana.svg.png

OVERVIEW

Although technically in South America, Guyana identifies as a Caribbean country in terms of its culture and history. It is also an incredibly diverse state with citizens of various faiths and backgrounds, including Christian, Muslim and Hindu. Generally speaking, Guyana can be considered a conservative society. Abortion was illegal until 1995, homosexuality is still illegal, and there are no protections against discrimination for LGBTQ people in the country, as of 2018. However, this is not to say that the country provides no options regarding health care. In fact, you can obtain condoms and birth control pills without a prescription. While the selection of birth control pill options may be limited at pharmacies, you can find international brands, such as Microgynon, Diane 35 and Yaz. You can also find emergency contraceptive pills (morning after pills) at pharmacies, particularly i-Pill. There are no travel or residency restrictions for people living with HIV, and there are many NGOs in the country that focus on HIV prevention, treatment and care. The country has a nationwide HPV vaccination program, but we could find no evidence of PrEP programs in the country. According to the National Insurance Act, women are entitled to thirteen weeks of maternity leave. Furthermore, since 1995, abortion has been legally available upon request, and it can be performed in public hospitals.

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 Guyana, you can purchase condoms or birth control pills without a prescription. However, some pharmacies may prefer if you have a consultation with a gynecologist or physician before purchasing birth control pills.[1] For other contraceptive methods, like IUDs or contraceptive injectables, you will need to visit a physician to obtain these methods.

Generally speaking, Guyanese women do not have a high rate of contraceptive use. In 2015, it was found that about 45% of women in Guyana (who are reproductive age and married/in unions) use some form of contraception, including traditional methods, which is among the lowest rates in the region and markedly below the South American average (74.6%). In Guyana, it was found that nearly 27% have unmet family planning needs. The most common forms of contraception were found to be condoms (14%), birth control pills (10%), IUDs (8%), female sterilization (6%) and contraceptive injectables (5%). There were low rates of usage for female sterilization (0.4%), contraceptive implants (0.2%) and traditional methods, such as withdrawal (0.7%) and the rhythm method (0.3%). There was practically no usage of vaginal barrier methods (0.0%) or male sterilization (0.0%).[2]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • In Guyana, you can get contraceptives at pharmacies, health centers or clinics, like the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (call the clinic: 225-0739 Hotline: 225-6493).
  • You can find condoms in pharmacies, supermarkets, gas stations, venues for condom-marketing distribution programs or even, in at least one, reported case, a beauty salon (Michelle's Beauty Salon).[3] While condoms are generally accessible in central urban areas, they can be more difficult for people to access in more remote areas. For this reason, a condom marketing and distribution program was set up, which distributed condoms from larger retailers to smaller retail outlets in areas where condoms aren't sold. The condom distribution program has now ended, small retailers have reportedly continued to sell condoms through larger channels that were set up by the initiative.[4]
  • You can find oral contraceptives (birth control pills) in Guyana, and you'll typically don't need a prescription to purchase them. However, some pharmacies may prefer if you have a consultation with a gynecologist or physician before going to the pharmacy. Some of the birth control pill brands that you can expect to find in Guyana are Diane 35, Microgynon and Yaz.[5]
  • You can find contraceptive implants in Guyana. At Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association, you can find the Jadelle implant.
  • You can find contraceptive injectables in Guyana. At Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association, you can find three types of implants: Norigynon (1 month implants), Norestarrat (2 month implants) and Depo Provera (3 month implants).
  • You can find IUDs in Guyana. At Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association, you can find the non-hormonal IUD.

Costs[edit]

  • We talked to two pharmacies in Georgetown (April 2018) and here are the price ranges we were quoted for birth control pills: Microgynon - $500 to $875 Guyanese Dollar (GYD); Diane 35 - $2995 to $3188 Guyanese Dollar (GYD); Yaz - $2595 to $3675 Guyanese Dollar (GYD).[6]

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 Guyana, you can purchase emergency contraceptive pills (morning after pills) at pharmacies. However, we have received conflicting information regarding whether a prescription is needed. According to some sources (such as the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception), no prescription is needed.[7] Yet, when we communicated directly with a pharmacy in Georgetown, they stated that a prescription was necessary to purchase emergency contraceptive pills. They said that a prescription can be obtained from a doctor, gynecologist, clinic or hospital. This leads us to believe that there is either a discrepancy in the official legal status of ECPs and actual practice of dispensation, or perhaps different pharmacies have different policies. If you have more information on this subject, or if you can clarify whether ECPs are available over-the-counter in Guyana, please update this section.

In Guyana, the usage of emergency contraceptive pills is not very common. According to 2009 data, only 0.9% of Guyanese women had ever used ECPs, and 29.7% of Guyanese women had knowledge of ECPs.[8]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • In Guyana, you can obtain emergency contraceptive pills (morning after pills) at pharmacies, IPPF-affiliated programs and various clinics in Guyana. For example, you should be able to find them at Medicine Express (a pharmacy) on Camp Street. You may need a prescription, but some venues may provide ECPs without a prescription. Some of the pill brands you can expect to find are i-Pill, which is produced by Cipla, an Indian pharmaceutical company, and Postinor 2, which is produced by Gedeon Richter, a Hungarian pharmaceutical company.[9]
  • If you cannot access dedicated emergency contraceptive pills, you can use regular birth control pills as replacement ECPs. If you do this, you should remember that, in 28-day packs, only the first 21 pills can be used. To do this, you can take Nordiol or Ovral (for these pills, take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 2 more pills 12 hours later). As another option, you can take Lo-Femenal, Microgynon or Nordette (for these pills, take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later).[10]

Costs[edit]

  • When we talked to a pharmacy in Guyana, they told us that they sold i-Pill for $660 GYD (April 2018).[11]

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]

There are no known travel or residency restrictions related to HIV status in Guyana. This means that, if you're a foreigner and you plan to visit or live in Guyana, you will not be asked about your HIV status upon arrival in the country. You will not be asked for medical certificates either. Furthermore, if you stay in Guyana and test as HIV-positive, there is no evidence that you will be deported from the country.[12][13] However, we do not know about the accessibility and quality of HIV care for foreigners (who are not a part of the national health care system).

While the HIV rate in Guyana sharply decreased in the early 2000s, it began to gradually rise again after 2010. In 2014, it was estimated that 1.8% of the population was living with HIV/AIDS, whereas an estimated 1.2% were living with HIV in 2009. Between 2010 and 2016, the HIV infection rate rose 23% and the AIDS-related death rate rose 33%.[14]

Testing Facilities[edit]

Support[edit]

  • National HIV/AIDS Programme: Address: Ministry of Health, Brickdam, Georgetown. Telephone: +592 227 8683. Email: ssinghanthony@yahoo.com
  • UNAIDS Guyana: Contact Information - Martin Odiit, UNAIDS Country Director. Phone: +592 2251580. Email: odiitm@unaids.org
  • Caribbean Community (CARICOM) - Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS - PANCAP: Address: PO Box 10827, Georgetown, Guyana. Telephone: +592 222 0201. Fax: +592 222 0203. Email: pancap@caricom.org
  • Guyana RainBow Foundation (GuyBow): Address: Health & Social services, Upper Flat, 31 Green & Norton Streets, Werk-en-rust, Georgetown. Telephone: +592 225 2425. Email: guybowdiverse@yahoo.com
  • Advancing Community Partners - Guyana: "The goals for APC in Guyana is to provide technical assistance for local NGOs/FBOs/CBOs implementing activities that are evidence-based, cost-effective and efficiently designed to reduce transmission and impact of HIV through an integrated community response and in support of the MOH response to HIV in Guyana."
  • Artistes in Direct Support: This nonprofit works to educate at-risk populations through the performing arts, media, and peer education. They also provide counseling, testing, outreach and various community services.
  • Agape Network - Guyana: This nonprofit focuses on delivering HIV/AIDS services, counseling and support to people in the community of Sophia in Georgetown, Guyana. They take a family-centered approach, and they also work with children and orphans, providing services like home-based care, after school program support, and counseling.
  • Comforting Hearts - Guyana: This NGO focuses on helping families affected by HIV/AIDS by providing services like nutrition, health, education and shelter.

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can find the HPV vaccine in Guyana. In 2011, Guyana launched its nationwide HPV vaccination program,[15] and the Public Health Ministry launched a campaign to encourage HPV vaccination in 2017 (in collaboration with Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and PAHO/WHO).[16]
  • It appears that Guyana has no nationwide Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) access, as of April 2018.[17]
  • It appears that Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is available in Guyana. If someone wants to access PEP, health officials will typically assess the exposure, evaluate the HIV status of the source patient, and then determine the PEP regimen. For victims of sexual assault, it seems like PEP is typically offered. The Guyana PEP regimen is typically Zidovudine (AZT) or tenofovir (TDF)+ lamivudine (3TC) or emtricitabine (FTC) + efavirenz (EFV) for 4 weeks. These specifications are included in Ministry of Health's National Guidelines for Management of HIV-Exposed Adults and Children.[18]

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]

  • Days for Girls Guyana: "We sew sustainable femininine hygiene kits to keep girls in school. Every girl deserves health, education, and dignity. Every girl. Every where. Period."

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]

According to the National Insurance Act, women are entitled to thirteen weeks of maternity leave. The period of absence cannot occur no more than six weeks before the expected confinement. Women are entitled to 70% of their insurable income during their maternity leave.[19]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

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]

In Guyana, abortion is fully legal and available upon request during the first eight weeks of pregnancy. During this time, all reasons for an abortion are legal. Between eight and twelve weeks of pregnancy, an abortion can be performed can be approved by a medical practitioner or a medical assistant in an approved institution. Between the twelfth and sixteenth week of pregnancy, an abortion can be performed at an approved institution if the abortion is approved by two medical practitioners. After sixteen weeks of pregnancy, an abortion can only be performed if three medical practitioners approve of the abortion procedure, and it must be approved on the grounds that the pregnancy either endangers the life of the woman or seriously endangers her life or the child's life.[20]

Before a woman can receive an abortion in Guyana, she must first receive obligatory counseling. There is then a 48-hour wait period before the abortion can be performed. If a woman is considered to be not "of sound mind," she will need approval from her parents, guardian or husband to receive the abortion.[21]

The current abortion laws fall under The 1995 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. Before this Act was passed in 1995, abortion was illegal in the country, although the government and legal system made no significant efforts to prosecute people who performed or received abortions. There had been a movement to reform abortion laws in Guyana since the early 1970s, but the country faced opposition from pro-life groups and the Catholic Church. When the abortion laws were passed, it was decided to divide the pregnancy into four parts, and separate laws would apply to each of the four stages of the pregnancy.[22]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH): This is the country's largest public hospital. They provide abortion services. Phone: +592 227 8241
  • Suddie Hospital: This public hospital provides abortions. Phone: +592 774-4227
  • New Amsterdam Hospital: This public hospital provides abortions.
  • Mahdia District Hospital: This public hospital probably provides abortions.
  • Mabaruma District Hospital: This public hospital probably provides abortions.

Costs[edit]

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In 1996, the Domestic Violence Act was passed, which provides "protection in cases involving domestic violence by the granting of a protection order, to provide the police with powers of arrest where a domestic violence offence occurs and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto."[23]

Homosexuality is illegal in Guyana[24], though there is a movement to legalize it.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  •  Help & Shelter: "Help & Shelter was founded in 1995 to work against all types of violence, especially domestic and sexual violence and child abuse.We have become a leader in the fight against violence in Guyana and in the provision of services to victims/survivors." Address: Homestretch Avenue, Durban Park, Georgetown, Guyana. Tel (592) - 225-4731, 227-8353. Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 08:30am to 4:00pm. Email: hands@networksgy.com
  • SASOD Guyana - Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination: "SASOD is committed to ending all forms of homophobia in Guyana, including transphobia, biphobia and lesbophibia."
  • Guyana Rainbow Foundation (GuyBow: The services they provide include telephone and in-person counseling, support group sessions, HIV prevention, education and advocacy. Phone: +592 225 2425. Email: guybowdiverse@yahoo.com
  • Guyana Inter-agency Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call (+592) 223-0001, 223-0009, 600-7896, 623-4444. Email: guyagency@yahoo.com. Twitter: guyanaagency. WhatsApp: +592-600-7896, 592- 623-4444. Facebook: Guyana Interagency Suicide Prevention Help Line
  • Caribbean Voice: "The Caribbean Voice is a New York based NGO that has been involved in social activism since its launch in 1998. Currently it is focusing on suicide prevention and related issues in Guyana and the Diaspora and is working in collaboration with partners – other NGOs, businesses, socially conscious individuals, the media and various ministries in Guyana. Contact us at 621-6111 or 223-2637 or via email at bibiahamad1@hotmail.com or caribvoice@aol.com."

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • Click here to learn about LGBTQ rights and laws in Guyana, click here to learn about the struggles faced by transgender activists in Guyana, and click here to learn about the complex social and historical picture of LGBTQ life in Guyana. It is important to note that, as of May 2018, homosexuality is illegal in Guyana and the punishment for homosexuality is life in prison. There are no legal protections against LGBTQ-related discrimination. It is also illegal to change gender or to be a "cross-dresser," thereby rendering transgender identity to be illegal as well.
  • Women and Gender Equality Commission - Guyana: The goal of this organization is to "promote national recognition and acceptance that women’s rights are human rights, respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality." Email: wgec.gy@gmail.com. Call +592 231 5276.
  • Guyana Women Miner's Association: "GWMO is dedicated to improving the conditions of women in the mining industry and to expanding their opportunities, and to ensuring that benefits that accrue from the industry are used in ways that are beneficial to both women and the society as a whole." Email: guyanawomenminers@yahoo.com. Phone: +592 223 6978.
  • Red Thread Women Guyana: "Red Thread's goal is to organize with women, beginning with grassroots women, to cross divides and transform our conditions. We provide services to women and children exploited in unequal power relations and simultaneously work to change those relations." Call (592) 227-7010; (592) 223-6254. Email: redthreadguyana@gmail.com
  • Guyana Association of Women Lawyers: "The GAWL was founded in April, 1987 with the primary aim of giving legal advice and assistance to women in the society. It was founded mainly through the efforts and dynamism of the Hon. Justice Desiree Bernard, now a Justice of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Guyana’s highest Court of Appeal." Address: 39 Brickdam, Stabroek, Georgetown, Guyana. Phone: +592 225 8102. Email: contact@gawl.inc@gmail.com
  • Pomona Women and Youth Reaching Out: "To better the lives of women and youths in Region 2 and the country as a whole by supporting them and providing them with opportunities for personal development." Address, telephone and email Lot 23 Pomona Housing Scheme. Cell: 618-0886.
  • Guyanese Girls Rock: This US-based nonprofit focuses on Guyanese women, and it may also do collaborative work with women in Guyana. "Guyanese Girls Rock Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation that is dedicated empowering young women to create their own paths to success. At GGRF we believe in cultivating an environment where girls feel encouraged and supported to make a positive contribution in the world. We provide our participants with leadership training, scholarships and exposure to exceptional female role models." Address: Guyanese Girls Rock Foundation, St. Albans, New York 11412. Tel: 646-285-6441
  • Rural Women's Network: "To promote the sustainable development of groups of rural women and their communities." Address, telephone and email: ruralwomen@yahoo.com, 228-6099, 226,8835
  • Sunflower Striving Women's Organization: "To provide opportunities for training individual in order to provide self- development literacy and a social community." Contact Person: Catherine Ville, Mahaicony, ECD. Tel. 617-3621.
  • Sunshine Women and Youth Group: "Sunshine women and youth group collaborates with parents and teachers to enhance the lives of women and youth in region three (3) to achieve their greatest potential and respect as full participants through skill development programmes, peer counselling, health and public awareness efforts." 176, Ocean View Uitvlugt West Coast Demerara, Phone: 629-8007.
  • Toevlught Patentia Women's Upliftment Group: "To encourage women to participate in meaningful activities that will help them to enjoy a better quality of life" Address: Patentia West, West Bank Demerara. Tel. 267-2693.
  • Vilvoorde Women's Group: "Reduce poverty, working with literacy to create a better environment. Assist people to be self-sufficient and socially interactive in their communities." Phone: 774-5362.
  • Women Across Differences (WAD): "WAD is a national network of women and women organisations committed to individual and social transformation in Guyana." Address: 216 Almond Street, Queenstown, Georgetown. Phone: 592-227-3974. Email: wad@solutions2000.ne
  • Women's Agro-Processors Development Network (WADN): "The Women's Agro-Processors Development Network is a network of small-scale agro-processing groups based in rural and indigenous communities in Guyana." Phone: +592 674 7422. Email: wadnetwork@hotmail.com
  • Institute for Gender Studies - University of Guyana: Address: The University of Guyana, Turkeyen Campus, Greater Georgetown, Guyana. Phone: +(592)-222-5423, +(592)-222-5122.

References[edit]

  1. [Conversations with multiple pharmacists in Georgetown, April 2018]
  2. Trends in Contraceptive Use Worldwide 2015
  3. Why a Beauty Salon in Guyana is an Excellent Place for Sex Education
  4. IMPROVED SUPPLY CHAIN AND RETAILERS’ COMMITMENT EXPANDS CONDOM ACCESS IN GUYANA
  5. [Conversations with multiple pharmacists in Georgetown, April 2018]
  6. [Conversations with multiple pharmacists in Georgetown, April 2018]
  7. EC Status and Availability: Guyana
  8. EC Status and Availability: Guyana
  9. EC Status and Availability: Guyana
  10. Princeton EC Website
  11. [Conversations with pharmacy in Georgetown, April 2018]
  12. GUYANA - REGULATIONS ON ENTRY, STAY AND RESIDENCE FOR PLHIV
  13. Global Crimininalisation Scan: Guyana
  14. UNAIDS - Guyana
  15. Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases Report: GUYANA
  16. Guyana Chronicle: 36,000 girls targeted in HPV campaign
  17. PrEPWatch World Map
  18. Guyana Ministry of Health's National Guidelines for Management of HIV-Exposed Adults and Children
  19. International Labour Organization - National Labour Law Profile: Guyana
  20. Abortion Law: Guyana
  21. Abortion Law: Guyana
  22. UN Profile: Abortion Laws in Guyana
  23. Ministry of Legal Affairs: Chapter 11:09 - Domestic Violence
  24. LGBT Rights in Guyana