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Philadelphia

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OVERVIEW

As the largest city in Pennsylvania, you'll find many health care options in Philadelphia. You can find all forms of birth control, however you will need a prescription for most of them. If you're under 18 years and want to confidentially receive counseling or help with birth control, you should visit a Title X clinic (we provide information below). You can also purchase emergency contraception (the morning after pill) without a prescription. In particular, Plan B is available to everyone, regardless of age, without a prescription. There are services to receive free and confidential HIV tests, which we have listed below, and you can also find providers of PrEP and PEP in Philadelphia. Many health clinics offer the HPV vaccine, so you should find the one that is best for you. Abortion is legal but, if you're a minor, you may need to get parental consent.

Contraception (Birth Control)[edit]

Birth control sold in the USA
Condoms

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 Pennsylvania, you need a prescription to obtain most birth control. A minor can purchase birth control without parental permission in the following circumstances: if the minor is 14 years old and older, if the minor is a high school graduate, if the minor is married of if the minor is or has ever been pregnant. For all other minors, they need to get parental permission in order to get a birth control prescription. However, if you're a minor, you can go to a Title X Clinic. These clinics are completely confidential, which means that your appointment and billing will be confidential.

At Title X Clinics, teens and adults can receive sexual and reproductive health care. They charge on a sliding-scale basis. They may be able to give you a prescription to birth control pills, as well as condoms and sexual health counseling. If you pay for their services with family health insurance and you're a teenager, your parents may see that you visited the clinic in their bills.

In the state of Pennsylvania, it's not required to teach about sexuality or contraceptive methods, such as condoms, pills and patches, in public schools. However, Pennsylvania law does require education on HIV/AIDS and STD education.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can get condoms in Pennsylvania without a prescription. There are no age restrictions (you can be a minor or adult). You can buy them at drugstores, pharmacy, grocery stores or online. Generally, a 12-pack of condoms costs around $12. A female condom costs around $2-$4 per condom.
  • The Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center at Locust Street: This is a Planned Parenthood center and Title X clinic. They provide low-cost services for birth control pills, IUDs and implants. They're also LGBT-friendly. Address: 1144 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107, (215) 351-5560.
  • Castor Ave. Health Center: This is a Planned Parenthood center (we're not sure if they're a Title X clinic). They provides low-cost services for birth control pills, IUDs and implants. Address: 8210 Castor Ave, Philadelphia, PA, 19152, (215) 745-5966.
  • Philadelphia Women's Center: "We offer a wide range of birth control methods including: the birth control pill, the vaginal ring, the implant, the Depo shot and hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs." Phone: (215) 574-3590 | (800) 869-2330. Address: 777 Appletree Street, 7th Floor, Philadelphia, PA, 19106.
  • Women's Care Center of Drexel University: This should be a Title X clinic (but you can call to confirm). Contraception included: Contraceptive supplies, Free condoms, Birth control pills, Orthro-Evra™ (the "patch"), Nuva Ring™ (vaginal contraceptive ring), Depro-Provera, IUD, Diaphragm. Address: 1427 Vine St, 7th Fl., Philadelphia, PA, 19102. Phone: (215) 762-7824
  • Mazzoni Center Family and Community Medicine: This is a Title X clinic. They provide low-cost services for birth control pills, IUDs and implants. They're also LGBT-friendly and accept health insurance. Address: 809 Locust st., Philadelphia, PA, 19107, (215) 563-0658.

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 Pennsylvania, anyone (no matter their age) can buy Plan B One-Step without a prescription. For other brands, like Next, Next Choice One Dose, My Way and Levonorgestrel, you can buy them without a prescription if they are 17 or older. If you want the ella pill, you'll need a prescription (regardless of age).

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

If you have been raped and want emergency contraception, you can get it at an emergency room or hospital. You can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), which is open 24 hours and will let you know where you can get EC. For more information, you can also visit the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) website.

Here's a full breakdown of what you can expect to find, thanks to the Princeton EC Website:

Dedicated Products / Anti-Progestin Take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex:

  • ella

Dedicated Products / Progestin Only Take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex:

  • My Way
  • Next Choice One Dose
  • Plan B One-Step
  • Take Action

Take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex:

  • Levonorgestrel Tablets (available from a pharmacist without a prescription)

If you can't access emergency contraception, many oral contraceptives can be used as replacement EC. The list of potential contraceptives that can be used for this purpose is very long, and instructions vary according to the specific brand. So, to find specific instructions based on the brands you may have available, please check out the Princeton EC Website. You can search for EC under "United States" and see recommended pills and dosages on that site.

Costs[edit]

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)[edit]

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

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

The United States has no travel restrictions related to HIV status.

Testing Facilities[edit]

  • Take Control: "Come to our free and confidential clinics at Health Centers 1 and 5. They provide exams, diagnosis, and treatment for a variety of STDs to all people over the age of 12. All services are free of charge. You don't even need an appointment. It's as easy as walking in after school." Health Center 1 (Center City): 500 S. Broad St. (Broad and Lombard). Health Center 5 (North Philadelphia): 1920 N 20th St. (20th and Berks).
  • St Christophers Hospital for Children Pediatric Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program: They give free HIV tests and rapid HIV blood tests to teens who are 14 years and older. No parental consent required. Walk-in testing open to general public. Address: 3601 A Street, Philadelphia, PA 19134, Phone: 215-427-5284.
  • Mazzoni Center: "Mazzoni Center offers free, confidential rapid HIV testing and confidential STI (sexually transmitted infection) screening services Mondays-Saturdays at our community based testing location at Washington West Project (1201 Locust Street), and at various off-site locations throughout Philadelphia."
  • Congreso de Latinos Unidos: They offer Free HIV Testing, Conventional HIV Blood Testing, Conventional HIV Oral Testing, Chlamydia Testing, Syphilis Testing, Gonorrhea Testing, Hepatitis B Vaccine and HPV Vaccine. Address: 216 W Somerset St, Philadelphia, PA 19133, USA. Phone: +1 215-763-8870.
  • Prevention Point Philadelphia: They offer Free HIV Testing, Conventional HIV Oral Testing, Chlamydia Testing, Syphilis Testing, Gonorrhea Testing, Hepatitis B Vaccine. Address: 166 W Lehigh Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19133, Phone: 215-634-5272.
  • Blacks Educating Blacks About Sexual Health Issues: Offers Free HIV Testing, Conventional HIV Blood Testing, Rapid HIV Blood Testing, Conventional HIV Oral Testing, Rapid HIV Oral Testing, Chlamydia Testing, Syphilis Testing, Gonorrhea Testing and Herpes Testing. Address: 1217 Spring Garden St 1st Fl, Philadelphia, PA 19123, Phone: 215-769-3561.

Support[edit]

  • Philly Hepatitis: This website provides helpful information on hepatitis and care resources in Philly.
  • Hepatitis C Allies of Philly (HepCAP): "HepCAP is positioning Philadelphia as �a national leader in the fight against hepatitis C. We aim to increase awareness of hep C as an urgent public health issue, while improving hep C prevention, diagnosis, care, and support services in our city."
  • Philadelphia FIGHT: They offer counseling, testing, PrEP services, women's health services, youth services and more. "A comprehensive health services organization providing primary care, consumer education, research, and advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at high risk." Address: 1233 Locust Street, 3rd floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107. P: (215) 985-4448. Email: fight@fight.org
  • AIDS Fund Philly: "AIDS Fund produces a variety of fundraising and awareness programs throughout the year, including AIDS Walk Philly, AIDS Run Philly, GayBINGO, Black-Tie GayBINGO, World AIDS Day, and Workplace Giving Campaigns. AIDS Fund provides emergency financial assistance to people living with HIV disease and organizations providing HIV services in the Greater Philadelphia region, while providing education and increasing public awareness of HIV/AIDS issues."

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • If you think you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), you'll need to visit a doctor, who will give you a check-up and test to see if you have a UTI. If you do have a UTI, you will be prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection. You cannot get UTI antibiotic medication without a prescription.
  • If you have a yeast infection, you can get treatment over-the-counter (no prescription needed). The most common yeast infection treatment in the United States is called "Monistat." There are different treatment plans (for example, 1 day, 3 days and 7 days). It's recommended to do more than 1 day to completely clear the infection.
  • You can get the HPV vaccine at many clinics in Philadelphia, including Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Esperanza Health Center Fifth Street Office, Temple University Hospital Temple Center for Womens Health Temple OB/GYN Out-Patient Services, Quality Community Health Care Incorporated Cooke Family (Health Center), Philadelphia Department of Public Health Philadelphia (Health Care Center 5 and Health Center 9) and Quality Community Health Care Incorporated Vaux Family. You can also get it certain pharmacies, like at Walgreen's (call your local pharmacy to see if they offer it).
  • You can get PrEP at many clinics and health centers in Philadelphia, including: Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers, Temple University Health System, Congreso de Latinos Unidos and Philadelphia Department of Public Health. For a full list of PrEP providers in Philadelphia, click here.
  • You can get PEP in Philadelphia from a primary care provider. If you don't have insurance, you can get it at Health Center 1, which serves everyone regardless of insurance, residency or ability to pay. Call 215-985-2437 for details. You can also visit this website for information on PEP in Philadelphia.

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]

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 the United States, abortion has been fully legal since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision (1973). However, it is continually challenged in many districts and states, including in Pennsylvania. While you can legally obtain an abortion in Pennsylvania, there are restrictions. For a woman to receive an abortion, she must first receive state-directed counseling. During this counseling, she will be discouraged from obtaining an abortion and she will receive materials/information that attempt to discourage her. Following the counseling, she will need to wait for 24 hours before being able to undergo the procedure.[1]

If you're 18 years old and want an abortion in Pennsylvania, it's required that one of your parents gives consent (i.e. "parental consent"). If you cannot manage to get parental consent, you can potentially get a "judicial bypass." This is when you ask a judge for permission instead or, if it's an emergency (for medical reasons), you can get special permission.[2]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Far Northeast Surgical Center- Philadelphia , PA: The services they offer include abortion pill (medication abortion), in-clinic abortion, sedation options (medication to make the abortion more comfortable), pre- and post-abortion patient education, post-abortion follow-up exams and referrals for other abortion services, as needed. Address: 2751 Comly Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154. p: 215.464.2225 | f: 215.464.2246.
  • Philadelphia Women's Center: They provide medical abortion (the abortion pill) and surgical abortions (for first trimester and second trimester). "All women who come to the clinic seeking abortion services are cared for with compassion and respect. Our services include a series of pre-operative assessments with medical and counseling staff." Address: 777 Appletree Street, 7th Floor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106, (800) 869-2330, (215) 574-3590.

Costs[edit]

Nationwide, the abortion pill can cost $800, but often less. For an in-clinic procedure, abortions can cost $1500, but often less. You can often find cheaper options at Planned Parenthood or some clinics. For low-income women (regardless of citizenship status), there are a variety of programs that may help pay for these costs.

In Pennsylvania, state funds (under the Affordable Care Act) only cover women's abortions when the life is endangered by the pregnancy or in cases of rape or incest. Public employees can only have abortion covered under their insurance policies if the pregnancy endangers their life or if the result or rape or incest.[3]

If you need help paying for an abortion, call the National Abortion Federation Hotline at 1-800-772-9100, Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). The hotline can tell you where and how to get financial help for an abortion in the U.S.

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • For emergencies, call 911 to get police and an ambulance.
  • If you're dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-723-3014 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-787-3224. "Our highly-trained advocates are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship. "
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255. "We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals."
  • If you have been abused and are in need of support, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) may be able to provide help and counseling. Visit their website call their 24-hour crisis hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.
  • The Trevor Project (Lifeline): Call: 866-488-7386. This is a 24/7 hotline for LGBT youth. "Our trained counselors are here to support you 24/7. If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the Trevor Lifeline now at 866-488-7386."
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender National Hotline: Toll-free: 1-888-843-4564. HOURS: Monday thru Friday from 1pm to 9pm, pacific time (Monday thru Friday from 4pm to midnight, eastern time). Saturday from 9am to 2pm, pacific time. (Saturday from noon to 5pm, eastern time). "All of our services are free and confidential.We speak with callers of all ages about coming-out issues, relationship concerns, bullying, workplace issues, HIV/AIDS anxiety and safer-sex information, and lots more!"

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Pennsylvania Abortion Laws
  2. Sex in the States: Pennsylvania
  3. Pennsylvania Abortion Laws