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Tunis

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Tunisia / Tunis
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OVERVIEW

Generally speaking, Tunisia has some of the most progressive family planning policies in Africa. You can purchase contraception over-the-counter, and you can find many forms of contraception, including pills, shots, implants, etc. You can also purchase emergency contraception (the morning after pill) without a prescription, and the government regulates the prices of EC brands, such as NorLevo. There are many places to get an STI test, and there are no travel restrictions related to HIV status. However, if you're a foreigner and applying for a long-term residency (as a worker, student, etc), you may be required to take an HIV test. If you are found to be HIV-positive, you may be denied a visa to the country. For pregnant women, there is maternity coverage in Tunisia, though only for four weeks with 66.7% of wages covered. Since 1973, abortion has been fully legal for women, regardless of reason, for the first trimester of pregnancy. There have been some reported cases of women being denied abortion services in Tunisia, but this is not common, and most women receive the abortion services that they request.

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. It is recommended that you consult with a health practitioner to determine the best contraceptive choice for you. If you want to find which hormonal contraceptives are available by brand, manufacturer or country, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Tunisia, you can purchase oral contraceptives (birth control pills) over-the-counter. No prescription is required.[1] [2] According to a 2015 report, about 64% of Tunisian women (who are married/in unions and of reproductive age) use any form of contraception. The most popular forms of contraception were IUDs (27%), birth control pills (20.3%) and female sterilization (3.3.%). There were very low rates of use for condoms (1.2%), injectables (1.1%) and implants (0.4%).[3]

In the Middle East and North Africa region, Tunisia is considered especially progressive regarding reproductive rights. Following Tunisian independence (a process that occurred from 1952 to 1956), the new Tunisian government made many changes related to women's lives. In 1956, polygamy was banned, marriage age was raised to 17 years old and divorce rights were made equal between men and women. The government has also made efforts to provide educational resources related to family planning, and mobile clinics offered free contraception and cancer screenings. These mobile clinics have received support from some prominent Muslim leaders as well.[4]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • To say birth control, you can either say/write تنظيم النسل (in Arabic) or "contrôle des naissances" (in French).
  • In Tunisia, you can purchase oral contraceptives (birth control pills) without a prescription at pharmacies. Some of the brands you can expect to find are Diane, Diane Planeires, Diane-35, Marvelon, Microgynon, Microgynon-30 and Microval.
  • If you want the contraceptive shot/injectable, you can find Depo-Prodasone, Depo-Provera SAS 150mg/ml or Megestron in Tunisia.
  • If you want the contraceptive implant, you can find Implanon or Norplant in Tunisia.

Tip from a local: "I recommend the 'planing familial' center - one is in Ariana and the other is Cité khadra, among the clinics of CNSS. There, every woman can present only her identity card without any payment and get the whole needed care!! It started in 1966 and still until now this program!!! I recommend it above all others!!"

Costs[edit]

Regarding the cost of birth control pills, here's what some locals & travelers say:

  • "There's a national assurances that always return back money. It's called CNAM and CNSS." (local, March 2017)
  • "The birth control pill, actually, they are so cheap! If you want to get it from private pharmacies. But it is for free in hospitals and we offer it to every woman asking for it. The whole pack for one month it is about 509millims so it is 2cent of euro." (local, March 2017)
  • For the Yaz, I used to pay the same that I pay in Brazil, where I'm from, around 20 USD." (traveler, March 2017)

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 to prevent pregnancy. 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) For combined pills, 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 Tunisia, you can purchase emergency contraception (the morning after pill) without a prescription.[5]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • To say/write "emergency contraception," here it is in Arabic (وسائل منع الحمل في حالات الطوارئ) and French (contraception d'urgence).
  • In Tunisia, you can purchase emergency contraception (the morning after pill) without a prescription. You can find EC at pharmacies and IPPF-affiliated programs. You should be able to find NorLevo (take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex).[6] You may also be able to access ellaOne, which is currently considered the most effective EC on the market, but a prescription may be required.[7]
  • If you can't access dedicated emergency contraception, you can use regular birth control pills as replacement EC. To do this, you can take Microval (take 50 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex). You can also take progestin-estrogen combined pills but remember that, in 28-day packs, only the first 21 pills can be used. You can take Neogynon (take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 2 more pills 12 hours later) and Microgynon-30 (take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later).[8]

Costs[edit]

In 2013, the government-regulated price for NorLevo was 14.397 TND. According to ICEC, this fact was confirmed by visiting over 200 pharmacies in the country.[9]

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]

Note: Here's how to say sexually-transmitted infection: مرض منقول جنسيا (Arabic), infection sexuellement transmissible (French)

If you're visiting Tunisia as a foreign tourists, there are no travel restrictions related to HIV status. You will not be asked for medical certificates in order to enter the country. However, if you are applying for long-term stay (for example, if you're applying for work permit, residency permit or student visa/permit), you'll probably need to take an HIV test. If your results are positive, you may be denied the permit or visa. Also, according to one source, if you plan to stay in Tunisia for over 30 days, you are required to take an HIV test. This information will need further research to fully confirm its current status.[10]

In Tunisia, there are an estimated 2600 people living with HIV, which is less than 0.1% of the adult population.[11] However, HIV is heavily stigmatized in Tunisia. The groups of people who are most predominantly affected (sex workers, men who have sex with men and intravenous drug users) by HIV often experience extreme disenfranchisement. According to a 2014 Guardian article, "Tunisia, a country with one of the most far-reaching and comprehensive approaches to combating HIV-Aids in the Middle East and north Africa, is in a war of attrition with the pervasive influences of ignorance and stigma that cut through to the marrow of Tunisian society."[12] The Tunisian government prohibits working with criminalized populations (such as drug users), so organizations that aren't tied to the state are often the only ones that can deliver crucial services to all affected people. One of these organizations is Global Fund to Fight AIDS, which is primarily composed of volunteers who are HIV-positive.[13]

Regarding HPV, it's estimated that 2.2% of Tunisian women are infected with HPV-16/18 infection at a given time, and 69.5% of invasive cervical cancers are attributed to HPVs 16 or 18. According to a 2016 report, cervical cancer is the third most frequent cancer among Tunisian women. However, there is no nationwide HPV vaccination program supported by the government, as of December 2016.[14]

Testing Facilities[edit]

  • For a comprehensive list of anonymous HIV testing facilities in Tunisia, click here.
  • Centre de Soins de Santé de Base 9 Avril de Tunis: Provides anonymous HIV tests. Address: Avenue 9 avril, 1030 Tunis. Phone: 71 567 607.
  • Centre des Soins de Santé Mase de Base de la Marsa: Provides anonymous HIV tests. Address: Borj El Salacel, la Marsa 2070 Tunis. Phone: 71 775 766.
  • Centre de l'Association Tunisienne d'Information et d'Orientation sur le sida (ATIOS): Provides anonymous HIV tests. Address: 43, Avenue Hédi Saidi, Bab El Assel, 1005 Tunis. Phone: 71 957 544 or 71 957 511.
  • Centre Régionale de l'ONFP de Douar Hicher (Mannouba): Provides anonymous HIV tests. Address: Delegation régionale de l'ONFP. Rue du Kairouan, Douar Hicher, Manouba, 2086 Tunis. Phone: 71 545 090 or 71 622 550.
  • One local says, "There are free HIV tests available in every city of Tunisia. They are provided at we call it a "family center," which focuses on things like HIV test, pregnancy test, free condoms and all related things to safe sexual relations."
  • One local says, "There are 7 anonymous places where people can get the HIV test. Of course it for free and even the medication and the treatment, if it happens and the test is positive, will be all for free for the Tunisians, no matter what. We have a health national plan for HIV, like for some other diseases, like VHc. So 11 in whole country and 7 in the big capital: Tunis and surrounding cities."

Support[edit]

  • UNAIDS Tunisia: Contact: Mohamed Soua. UNAIDS Country Manager. Telephone: +21629156256. Email: soual@unaids.org.
  • Centre Hospitalo-universitaire de la Rabta: Provides HIV treatment in Tunis. Phone: +216 71 578 825, +216 71 578 823.
  • Centre Hospitalo-universitaire de Fattouma Bourguiba: Provides HIV treatment in Monastir. Phone: +216 73 448 303.
  • Centre Hospitalo-universitaire de Farhat Hached: Provides HIV treatment in Sousse. Phone: +216 73 321 441.
  • Centre Hospitalo-universitaire de Hédi Chaker: Provides HIV treatment in Sfax. Phone: +216 74 246 906
  • Association Tunisienne d'Information et d'Orientation sur le SIDA et la Toxicomanie (ATIOST): Address: 43 Avenue Hédi Saidi, 1005 Tunis, Telephone: +216 71 957 544, Fax: +216 71 957 511, Email: atios@hotmail.com
  • Association Tunisienne de Lutte Contre les MST et le SIDA - Tunisian Association to Fight Against STD and AIDS: Section de Tunis, Address: 16, Rue 7051 Centre Urbain Nord 1082 Tunis, Telephone: +216 70 866 588, Email: contact@atlmstsida.org
  • Association Tunisienne de Prévention de la Toxicomanie "ATUPRET": Address: Route de Gabés Km 10 Thyna, Sfax, Telephone: +216 74 679082, Fax: +216 74 404866, Email: contactatupret@gmail.com
  • Programme National de Lutte contre le Sida et les Maladies Sexuellement Transmissibles: Address: 31 Rue Khartoum, Le Bélvédère 1002 Tunis, Telephone: +216 71 786581, Fax: +216 71 789679, Email: ahmed.maamouri@rns.tn

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • There are no official providers of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in Tunisia, as of March 2017.[15] This may change in the future.
  • If you have a yeast infection, this is how you say it in Arabic (الالتهاب المهبلي) and French (candidose vaginale). You may find medications like Pevaryl or Gyno Pevaryl, which are two yeast infection medications that are sold in North Africa. If those are not available, you can also ask for Fluconazole, and the pharmacist should be able to give you medication that contains the necessary active ingredients.
  • If you believe that you have a UTI (urinary tract infection), here's how you say it in French: IVU (Infection des voies urinaires). You may be able to get medication at the pharmacy without a prescription. While it is generally recommended that you visit a health professional to confirm your results before taking treatment, this may not be enforced in Tunisia.
  • There is no national HPV vaccination program in Tunisia.[16] However, you can probably get the vaccine at hospitals or clinics.

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]

  • If you have menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea), you can say عسر الطمث (Arabic) or dysménorrhée (French)
  • One local says, "Since Tunisian women (girls) are most conservative, I think pads are more often used instead of tampons, but you can find both (pads and tampons) in supermarkets or even pharmacies. Pads are available everywhere, from a simple grocery stores to a small shop."
  • One local says, "For tampons it is not common here to use it. We prefer and mostly use the [sanitary] napkins. But the tampons are available in the big supermarkets in every branch of the country. Just all women are not aware of it."
  • We can't find any sellers of major menstrual cup brands, such as DivaCup, MoonCup, LadyCup, Lunette, etc. in Tunisia. If you do know a seller, please add it to this page.

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Here's how you say/write gynecologist: دكتور امراض نساء (Arabic), gynécologue (French)
  • One local says, "Gynecologic department is in every hospital. And there are hospitals only with this speciality and linked to it. So there are: Aziza Othmena hospital in Kasbah in Tunis, which is the oldest one and a great one, actually, where we practise fecondation in vitro!! Then the biggest one is Wassila Bourguiba Hospital in Rabta in Tunis, the famous one that is only dedicated to women and newborn babies. It is big and all crowded. There are two others the same thing in Sousse et Monastir: big cities on the cost... I recommend also gynecology department of Salah Azeiz it is so small but they do great jobs for abortion and so on. And the department in Ariana hospital Mahmiud Matri, I like it there." (March 2017)
  • The best private hospitals in Tunisia are Clinique Avicenne, Clinique Saint Augustin Tunis and Clinique Neurologique de la Soukra.[17] However, these are more expensive than public hospitals/clinics, which are used by many Tunisian women.

Costs[edit]

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Tunisia, women are now offered two months (8 weeks) of paid maternity leave, according to a local, who says, ˈ'now they are trying to make it longer... the Ministry of Women proposed like a new law, and we are waiting for the acceptance from the Parliament."[18] It appears that, in the past, women were offered 4 weeks of parental leave with 66.7% of wages covered. Men were offered less than one week of parental leave with 100% of wages covered, but we're not sure about their current status.[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]

Since 1973, abortion has been fully legal in Tunisia,[20] making the country one of the most progressive in terms of abortion policy in Africa. All reasons for an abortion are permitted, including to save the life of the woman, to preserve physical health, to preserve mental health, when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, risk of fetal impairment, economic/social reasons or simply upon request of the woman.[21] According to the Tunisian Penal Code, a woman does not need to justify her reason for obtaining an abortion.[22]

However, there are some restrictions. The abortion must be performed in the first trimester of pregnancy by a licensed physician in a hospital, authorized clinic or other health care establishment.[23] Furthermore, according to a 2014 article published by Tunisia Live, there have been cases of young women and girls being discouraged from obtaining abortions at some hospitals. In some cases, medical personnel have even denied access to abortion services, citing the medical conscience clause (which allows doctors to refuse services that go against their personal beliefs). Counseling phone lines have also received calls from women who were denied abortion services.[24] It should be stressed that these cases are not incredibly common, but it's useful for people to know that this does exist in Tunisia.

To read more about women denied abortion services in Tunisia, here's further reading:

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Gynecology department of Salah Azeiz
  • The public hospitals provide free, anonymous abortion services. Typically, they offer medical abortion (surgical abortions are less common).[25] If you're not a Tunisian citizen or if you're not covered by Tunisian insurance, you may need to pay a fee (but we're not sure).
  • One local says: "Abortion providers are only in hospitals. And under the command of doctors. So, in every department, you can ask for it. When you have your meeting with your doctor. And I would recommend the one in Ariana (It is a public hospital Mahmoud Matri). There are clinics who do but it would be expensive. And the health ministry can't control the price because the private clinic and his owner (who generally not a doctor and would ask doctors to work for him) would put higher the price of comfort of his place. For private clinics, there is clinic Ennasser in Ariana, which is nice. The best one in Tunisia the most known private clinic is Les Jasmins in centre urbain nird in Tunis." (March 2017)

Costs[edit]

Public hospitals offer free abortions in Tunisia. We don't know the prices at private hospitals.

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • Ministère de la santé publique (Ministry of Public Health)
  • Tunisia LGBTQI: "A monitor interested in everything related to the Tunisian & international LGBT community. For the abolition of Article230 in the Tunisian Penal Code."
  • Klemty: An association for LGBTQ people in Tunisia.
  • Shams Tunisia: LGBTQ Rights organization in Tunisia.
  • All of Tunisia Women for Research and Information on Women: 7 rue Sinan Pacha, Tunis, Tunisia
  • Alliance Tunisienne Des Femmes De Carriere Juridique: 56, Boulevard Bab-Benat, Tunis 1006, Tunisia, 561-845 / 260 178, 567-131
  • Alliance Tunisienne Des Femmes De Carriere Medicale: Rue Sinan Pacha, Tunis, Tunisia, 260 834
  • Association De Developpement Et De Protection De L'environnement (ADPE): B.P. 73, La Marsa 2070, Tunisia, (2161) 742 400, (2161) 765 428
  • Association Des Femmes De L'information Et De La Communication: 32, Rue Charles De gaulle 1000, Tunis, Tunisia, Tel: (216-1) 350650, Fax: (216-1) 350650
  • Association Des Femmes Tunisiennes Pour La Recherche Et Le Developpement (AFTURD): Cite Sprols, Rue 7301 Bloc 09 El Menzh, Tunis, Tunisia, 28741, 794 131/785605
  • Association Tunnisienne Des Femmes Democrates (ATFD): 6 Rue du Liban 1000, Tunis, Tunisia, Tel: (216 1) 794131, Fax: (216 1) 794131
  • Association Tunisienne Du Planning Familial (ATPF): 9, Rue Essouyouti, 1004-El Menzah, Tunis, Tunisia, Tel: (2161) 232419, Fax: (2161) 767263
  • Association Tunisienne Des Sages Femmes: 9, Rue Essouyouti-1004- El Menzah. Tunis, Tunisia, 232 419, 767 263
  • Center Of Arab Women For Training And Research (CAWTAR): 44 Rue de Polgne, 1005 El Omrane, Tunis, Tunisia, Tel: (216-1) 571945, Fax: (216-1) 574627
  • Centre International De Developpement En Tunisie: B.P. 377 (7 Rue Remada) , 2000 Tunis-Le Bardo, Tunisia, (216-1) 510 714, (216-1) 510 714
  • Centre de Recherches, d'Etudes, de Documentation et d'Information sur la Femme (CREDIF): Avenue du Roi Abdelaziz Al Saoud, Rue 7131, El Manar II, 2092 Tunis, Tunisia , Tel: +216 1 885 322 , Fax: +216 1 882 893 or +216 1 887 436
  • Chambre Nationale Des Femmes Chefs D'entreprise: 103 Avenue de la Liberte, Tunis 1002, Tunisia, Tel: (216-1) 780366, Fax: (216-1) 782143
  • Comite Des Dames Du Croissant Rouge Tunisien: 19, Rue d'Angleterre, Tunis 1000, Tunisia, (261-1) 240630/245572, (261-1) 340151
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) - Arab World Regional Bureau: 2 Place Virgile Notre Dame 1082, Tunis, Tunisia, Tel: (2161) 284 309, Fax: (2161) 789 934
  • Organisation Tunisienne De L'education Et De La Famille: 78 Avenue de la Liberte, Tunis, Tunisia, Tel: (216-1) 286410, Fax: (216-1) 783594
  • Tunisian Mothers' Association: 2 Rue des Dattes, Borj Baccouche/, 2 Rue du Lycee El Menzeh 6 1004 , Tunis, Tunisia, Tel: (216-1) 753012, Fax: (216-1) 752 666
  • Union Nationale De La Femme Tunisienne - (or Union Nationale des Femmes de Tunisie): Faiza Kefi, 56, Boulevard Bab Benat, Tunis 1006, Tunisia, 561 845 260 178, 541 567 131

References[edit]

  1. Global Oral Contraception Availability
  2. FreethePill: Where on Earth
  3. Trends in Contraceptive Use 2015
  4. What's Next for Women's Health (And Rights) in Tunisia and Egypt?
  5. EC Status and Availability - Tunisia
  6. Princeton EC Website
  7. EC Status and Availability - Tunisia
  8. Princeton EC Website
  9. EC Status and Availability - Tunisia
  10. TUNISIA - REGULATIONS ON ENTRY, STAY AND RESIDENCE FOR PLHIV
  11. [http://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/tunisia HIV and AIDS estimates - Tunisia]
  12. Tunisia's fight against Aids hampered by widespread discrimination
  13. AIDS In Tunisia Is No Myth, Even If It’s Rarely Talked About
  14. Tunisia - Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2016
  15. PrEpWatch World Map
  16. - Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2016
  17. Ranking of Hospitals - Tunisia
  18. [Discussion with Tunis local]
  19. Parental Leave
  20. Abortion in Tunisia: A Shifting Landscape
  21. UN Report: Abortion in Tunisia
  22. Abortion in Tunisia: A Shifting Landscape
  23. UN Report: Abortion in Tunisia
  24. Abortion in Tunisia: A Shifting Landscape
  25. Abortion in Tunisia: A Shifting Landscape