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Hong Kong

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China / Hong Kong
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OVERVIEW

Hong Kong is an incredibly international city with advanced medical facilities. You can purchase contraception at pharmacies and tampons are relatively easy to find. However, you do need a prescription for emergency contraception (morning after pill). Furthermore, if you want an abortion, it can be rather expensive and must be done within 10 weeks of pregnancy. Due to these medical and financial restrictions, many Hong Kong women seek abortions in mainland China. Socially, the city is rather tolerant and open-minded. You can find various feminist, gender studies, and LGBTQ organizations in Hong Kong as well.

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 Hong Kong, you can easily purchase contraceptives with no prescription, including condoms, hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, implants, injections), diaphragms and intra-uterine devices (IUDs). Nuvaring is not currently available. Condoms can be purchased in most drugstores, pharmacies and supermarkets. In 2012, a study found that 40% of HK women had used contraceptives at one point in their lives.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Condoms for sale in Hong Kong, 2017
  • In Hong Kong, you can find condoms sold in convenience stores, sex shops, etc. You can also purchase them online - for example, click here or here to find online sellers in Hong Kong.
  • If you want birth control pills, you can find about 20 brands registered in Hong Kong. They primarily come from European or US-based pharmaceutical companies, and you can find both combined and phasic pills. Some brands you can expect to see are Marvelon, Mercilon, Microgynon, Nordette, Rigevidon, Yasmin and Yaz. For a list of pill options, click here.
    • Note: While many generic oral contraceptives are available in Hong Kong, you may want to research some brands in advance. For example, the Yasmin/Yaz brand, which has been found to cause blood clots, is available with no pharmacist's/doctor's warnings in HK pharmacies, as reported by the South China Morning Post. Says the article, "When a female Post journalist tried to buy the pills at a popular Hong Kong pharmacy chain, no questions were asked; it was only when the journalist asked about their side effects, after purchase, that the pharmacist told her she should consult her doctor."
  • If you want the contraceptive shot/injection, you can find Depo-Provera in Hong Kong.[1]
  • If you want an IUD, you can find Mirena in Hong Kong.[2]
  • If you want the contraceptive patch, you can find Evra in Hong Kong.[3]

Here are some recommended places to find birth control in Hong Kong;

  • Family Planning Association of Hong Kong, Birth Control Clinic - Serves women who are married or over 26. If you are under 26 and unmarried, visit the Youth Health Care Service.
  • Watson's - A popular drug store/pharmacy with branches throughout Hong Kong
  • Red Ribbon Center - Get free condoms here. "Although the sales network of condom in Hong Kong has extended to supermarkets and convenient stores, it is embarrassing to buy a condom in front of cashier in the society where sex is still a taboo for many. To make condom more accessible, the following venues provide free condoms to their clients."

Costs[edit]

Birth control pills cost about HKD 90-110/month. The IUD is about HKD 1500. Condoms are about HKD 100 for a ten-pack. Most private health insurance policies do not cover contraception.

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 Hong Kong, you officially need a prescription to obtain emergency contraception at pharmacies.[4] However, some locals report that you can buy it without a prescription at pharmacies. You can also obtain EC from the Family Planning Association Hong Kong (FPAHK), family doctors and government clinics without a prescription. FPAHK also allows people to purchase in EC in advance, which they can store at home in case of emergencies. There is no confirmed data on age restrictions for EC in Hong Kong. If you do have a prescription, you can find EC at pharmacies. Note that, while Hong Kong is technically a part of China, it has different policies than mainland China (where EC is widely accessible).

According to studies, Hong Kong residents seem rather uneducated regarding EC. Many women think that EC causes abortion. This lack of awareness is also found in the medical community. In a 2007 study, doctors scored 6.08 out of 12 in a simple test of EC knowledge.

The HK government has claimed that, if they make EC available at all pharmacies, they are promoting promiscuity. However, as written in Hong Kong Free Press, "It is debatable whether the fear of encouraging promiscuity, the lack of general knowledge among users, or concerns over misuse are legitimate reasons for the Hong Kong government to play the role of moral police and deny over-the-counter access to the pill."

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • For dedicated EC products, you can find Escapelle and NorLevo 1.5mg (take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex). You can also take Duet, Estinor, Postinor-2 (take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex).[5]
  • If you want to use oral contraceptives as EC, options include Duoluton, Eugynon, Neogynon, Nordiol and Ovral ( take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 2 more pills 12 hours later). Other oral contraceptive options include Microgynon, Microgynon 30 ED, Microgynon-30, Nordette and Rigevidon (take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later). Finally, there's Loette (take 5 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 5 more pills 12 hours later).[6]

Place Where You Can Get EC:

  • Most pharmacies, including Fanda Pharmacy (near Pedder street in Central)
  • Family Planning Association Hong Kong (FPAHK) - Place to get EC without a prescription

Costs[edit]

At FPAHK, you'll pay up to HK$360 for a consultation and a single dose of the morning-after pill.

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]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Social Hygiene Clinics[edit]

For low-cost or free STD tests, visit the 'Hong Kong Social Hygiene Clinics'. They provide medical check-ups, treatment and counseling on STIs/STDs. All information is confidential. If you are 1) a holder of Hong Kong Identity Card issued under the Registration of Persons Ordinance (Chapter 177), except those who obtained their Hong Kong Identity Card by virtue of a previous permission to land or remain in Hong Kong granted to them and such permission has expired or ceased to be valid 2) a child who is an HK resident and 11 years old or 3) approved by the Director of Health, you can receive all services for free. If you do not fall under one of these categories, you will be charged.

Note: These clinics do blood tests for HIV, syphilis, and swab tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea. No testing done for Herpes or HPV unless you show symptoms of those diseases.

  • Chai Wan Social Hygiene Clinic - West Wing LG5, Specialist Out-patient Block, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, 3 Lok Man Road, Chai Wan, Hong Kong. Phone: 2595 7500
  • Yung Fung Shee Social Hygiene Clinic - 4/F, Yung Fung Shee Memorial Centre, 79 Cha Kwo Ling Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon. Phone: 2727 8315
  • Tuen Mun Social Hygiene Clinic - 5/F, Tuen Mun Eye Centre, 4 Tuen Lee Street, Tuen Mun, New Territories. Phone: 2459 2958
  • Fanling Integrated Treatment Centre(Social Hygiene Service) - 6/F, Fanling Health Centre, 2 Pik Fung Road, Fanling, New Territories. Phone: 2639 1437

For more details, visit the Clinic list online. While this list is technically for males, it seems that some of the clinics may also be open to women (i.e. the ones with no "male" in the name!).

General Clinics[edit]

  • The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong - It's not clear if they do testing beyond Hepatitis B, but it seems they do. Contact them to ensure in advance. Address: 10/F., Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, HK, Telephone: 2575-4477, Fax: 2834-6767.
  • LIFE Clinic - Offers STD testing, HPV vaccine, Hepatitis vaccines. Suite 1702, New World Tower One, 16-18 Queens Road Central, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Emergency Medicine Centre - Provides same-day STD testing, including Chlamydial‬ / Gonorrhea / Herpes / Syphillus / Wart. Has PEP.
  • Hong Kong AIDS Foundation - Only tests for HIV/AIDS.. Clinic at 8 Chai Wan Rd5/F Shaukeiwan Jockey Club Clnc, Shaukeinwan, Phone: 852 2560 8528.
  • Sexual Health Specialists - Not clear from their website what they test for. But they seem LGBT-friendly, knowledgeable and very progressive so probably worth an email/call to find out. Phone number: (852) 3162 0001. Email: neo@neohealth.com.hk.

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

For yeast infections, you can get Canesten cream with no prescription at pharmacies like Watson's. Diflucan if also available for yeast infections, but you may need to visit a doctor to get a prescription (can someone confirm this?). Regarding HPV, vaccines like Gardasil are available, and the registered age for the vaccine is 9 years and up. For HIV prevention, there is no PrEP access. However, for people traveling to HK with HIV/AIDS, antiretroviral medication can be carried for personal use.

For PEP, contact Hong Kong Emergency Medicine Centre. They are open 24/7.

  • Kinetics - for HPV or Hepatitis vaccination.

More details on future Truvada/PrEP access in Hong Kong, as written by Sexual Health Specialists, HK: "At the crux of this debate – which extends far beyond Hong Kong’s borders – is whether Truvada is the costly answer to the HIV epidemic or whether its usage only serves to encourage more unprotected sex. Only time will tell – but at least people can add another option to their list of HIV prevention, even though the drug still isn’t readily available in Hong Kong."

Costs[edit]

Menstruation[edit]

Note: Aside from pads and tampons, you can use menstrual cups or 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]

While tampons are available, they are much less popular than pads/panty-liners.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

If you want to buy pads/panty-liners, they are readily available. You can also find tampons but they're less common/popular. You'll usually see OB (without applicators), Playtex (Gentle Glide) and Tampax (cardboard) tampons. You may be able to find organic tampons in some supermarkets.

There are no menstrual cup sellers (e.g. DivaCup, Mooncup, LadyCup) in Hong Kong or mainland China, so you'll need to buy them online.

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

From InterNations Hong Kong: "In 2004, the Hong Kong Department of Health established the Cervical Screening Program. It aims to increase the overall coverage of testing among women living in Hong Kong. Part of the program is an information system. If you register, you will receive automatic reminders from your gynecologist in Hong Kong when your next pap smear is due. A cervical screening costs an extra HKD 100."

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

For gynecological exams, you can choose to go to a public healthcare center or a private specialist. If you're interested in a public healthcare center, it's recommended to visit one of the Maternal and Child Health Care Centers for a check-up. For anyone under 64 years old, they offer check-ups for early signs of cervical, breast and ovarian cancer. They also offer HPV vaccines. As for private doctors, you can choose a private specialist from the Hong Kong directory of doctors.

Costs[edit]

At Maternal and Child Health Care Centers, you can get a gynecological check-up for around HKD 300 (if you're an HK resident). For a mammography, you pay an additional 225 dollars.

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

For a full list of public Maternal and Child Health Centers in HK, visit this link.

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 Hong Kong, medical and surgical abortion is legal (for up to 10 weeks of pregnancy). According to Section 47 of the "Offences Against the Person Ordinance" (Chapter 212), two registered medical practitioners need to confirm that the abortion decision was made in good faith. There are also two reasons that are permitted for an abortion, and a woman must satisfy both of these criteria: 1) Continuing the pregnancy would endanger the pregnant woman's physical/mental health 2) There is a substantial risk of fetal impairment.

According to the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong, "in the case of a pregnant woman who is below the age of 16, or has made a report to the police within 3 months that she has been the victim of incest, rape, intercourse by threat, intercourse by false pretense, or drugged rape, the doctors, when forming an opinion, may presume that continuing the pregnancy would involve risk of injury to her physical or mental health greater than if her pregnancy were terminated." Therefore, in this case, the young girl is eligible to receive a legal abortion according to the Hong Kong Common Law, Chapter 212, Section 47.[7]

In 2012, it was reported in South China Morning Post that many HK women go to mainland China for abortions. As the article wrote, "They are women who want an abortion but have slipped through the net of the Hong Kong system. They are forced to turn to substandard facilities across the border because of public hospitals' reluctance to provide abortions, sky-high prices in the private sector, and the fact that the Family Planning Association can only perform abortions in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Poor knowledge about sex and contraception worsen the problem. The number of women affected remains unclear, but surveys have suggested that more than a third of Hong Kong women who have an abortion each year do so on the mainland."[8]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

The following hospitals are supposed to take abortion referrals from FPAHK:

Private Hospitals[edit]

  • Kong Sanatorium & Hospital - Has locations in Central, Island West and Taikoo that deal with "Family Medicine and Primary Care." Supposed to take abortion referrals. Address: Hong Kong, 跑馬地山村道2號. Phone: 2835-8607.
  • Matilda International Hospital - Situated on Victoria Peak. Supposed to take referrals for abortions. Address: 41 Mount Kellett Road, The Peak, Hong Kong. Phone: 2849-0111.
  • Union Hospital - Supposed to take referrals for abortions. Address: 18 Fu Kin St, 沙田大圍 Hong Kong. Phone: 2608-3222.

Hospitals of the Hospital Authority Telephone[edit]

  • Princess Margaret Hospital - Flagship hospital in the Kowloon West Cluster of the Hospital Authority. Phone: 2990-1111.
  • Prince of Wales Hospital - Address: : 至 32 號 威 爾 斯 親王 醫院 李嘉誠 專科 診所 南 翼, 30 Ngan Shing St, Sha Tin, Hong Kong. Phone: 2632-2211.
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital - Address: 30 Gascoigne Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Phone: 3506-8888.
  • Queen Mary Hospital - Address: 102 Pok Fu Lam Rd, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong. Phone: 2255-3838.

Costs[edit]

At the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong, you can expect to pay 3,300 HK dollar (Entitled persons) / 4,400 HK dollar (Non-entitled persons) for medical/surgical termination of early pregnancy. For monitored anesthetic care, you can expect to pay 1,00 HK dollar at FPAHK.

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Pregnant Girls Support Centre: "We are there for thousands of scared girls who have nowhere to turn each year. We want to ensure that every young girl who faces an unanticipated pregnancy knows the options available to her, and that we are here to help, counsel, and walk alongside them with non-judgmental and loving support." Address: Unit A, 21/F Legend Tower, 7 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Crisis Hotline: bigsister@motherschoice.org | (852) 2868 2022.
  • Harmony House HK - Objectives: "To provide a safe and immediate refuge for female victims of domestic violence and their children. To offer 24-hour immediate support and referrals for families and intimate partners affected by domestic violence.. To empower abused women, and help them restore their dignity and establish harmonious relationship. To protect and address the needs of children who have witnessed or been affected by domestic violence." Self-referral through our 24-hour Women Hotline (Tel: 2522 0434).
  • Soultalk: "For women who are feeling isolated and unable to cope with life in Hong Kong, especially coming from an abusive situation, call Soul Talks at 2525-6644."
  • Bethune House Migrant Women's Refuge - "provides a temporary home for these women who may have faced physical assault or been accused of theft. Some are involved in disputes over unpaid wages."
  • St. Barnabas Society and Home: "St. Barnabas' Society and Home started off small and was formed in 1987 by two people who began a ministry of outreach to street sleepers, the poor, and the homeless in the Western and Kennedy Town districts on Hong Kong Island. Since 1987, we have visited hundreds of street sleepers. Some live on the streets, some under flyovers or in back alleys. Some are drug addicts, some are alcoholics, and others are mentally ill. We also visit people who live in Wood Partitioned Rooms (WPR), dwellings that house the most vulnerable group of people in our society."
  • Po Leung Kuk Women Refuge Service: "There are three refuge centres for women under the operation of Po Leung Kuk. The centres provide immediate and safe temporary accommodation for women and their children who are in danger of domestic violence or crisis. Among them, Sunrise Court was established since March 2002 with a capacity of 45. Wai On Home was hive-off from Social Welfare Department and has commenced operation since April 2006. It has a capacity of 65. Dawn Court was established since December 2009 with a capacity of 40. The total capacity of the three women refuges is 150." 24-hour hotline: 8100 1155.
  • Wai On Home for Women: Women's shelter. Telephone: 2793 0223
  • Serene Court: Women's shelter. Telephone: 2787 6865
  • Sunrise Court: Women's shelter. Telephone: 2890 8330
  • Dawn Court: Women's shelter. Telephone: 2243 3210

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • Family Planning Association of Hong Kong: Performs abortions, counseling, etc. The is the main center for women's and reproductive issues in Hong Kong.
  • Abortion in Hong Kong Wiki from UBC: This is a wonderful resource put together by University of British Columbia, detailing Hong Kong abortion law. It seems that UBC went through a massive amount of data and readings to distill the most important facts.
  • Equaldex Hong Kong: Information on LGBTQ rights and laws in Hong Kong.
  • Pink Alliance - "a non-profit voluntary organisation registered under the Societies Ordinance. Its main objective is to promote equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people through lobbying, education and campaigns."
  • Transgender Rainbow Hong Kong: "We are a group of Transgender friends, which includes Transsexuals (FTM & MTF), Lady Boys, Cross Dressers and more. We gather at Rainbow of Hong Kong’s LGBT Community Centre every day." Also provides HIV rapid tests and emergency support.
  • Transgender Resource Center: Enroll our mailing list: http://tgr.org.hk/mailinglist. Tel:8203-2100. (Mon to Thu 10am to 6pm). Fax:8203-2110. Email: info@tgr.org.hk.
  • Association for the Advancement of Feminism, Hong Kong - "Established in 1984 to organise the local women's movement, it aims to promote understanding about problems faced by women and discrimination against women." Address: 8A, 444 Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel: (852)-7811900. Fax: (852)-3855319
  • Institute for Women's Empowerment: Postbox 7912, GPO, Hong Kong SAR, Email: iwe.empowerment@gmail.com, info@iwe-women.org, Fax +852-30144701.
  • Gender Research Centre - "the first research unit on gender and women’s issues in Hong Kong. Beginning as the Gender Research Programme in 1985, the Gender Research Centre was renamed in 2000.Members include scholars from Social Science, Humanities, Medicine, Business Administration, and other interdisciplinary fields who are involved with the research activities of the GRC." Address: HKIAPS, 7/F Tin Ka Ping Bldg. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, SHATIN, N.T., Hong Kong, Tel: (852) 26098775, Fax: (852) 26035215.
  • Women Helping Women, Hong Kong: "Established in 2010, The Women Helping Women Hong Kong (registered charity number 91/10968) is a non-profit charitable organization focused to create programs to assist families facing Domestic Violence and abuse in Hong Kong. WHWHK funds initiatives and programs that promise the greatest long-term impact for those in need. The Founders and Board Members of the organization whose goal is to make sure all funds are used most efficiently carry out this carful selection process."
  • Women in Publishing, Hong Kong: "We are a group of women based in Hong Kong (or who have a HK connection) who are either involved in or interested in some aspect of publishing. We're writers, writers-to-be, poets, artists, illustrators, editors, proofreaders, copywriters, graphic designers, journalists, publishers, fiction or non-fiction authors or quite simply women who wish to become involved in some way with the publishing world." 409, Yu Yuet Lai Bldg, 43-45 Wyndham Central, Hong Kong. Tel: +2526-0206. Fax:+2526-0378.

References[edit]

  1. IPPF Hong Kong
  2. IPPF Hong Kong
  3. IPPF Hong Kong
  4. EC Status and Availability: Hong Kong
  5. Princeton EC Website
  6. Princeton EC Website
  7. UBC Abortion in Hong Kong Wiki
  8. Article on HK Women Getting Abortions in Mainland China