No, this is not a list of how to practice hazardous sex; I trust you are capable of doing that all on your own. If you did indeed have unprotected sex, there are several things I recommend you do:
Drink a Fanta Fiesta
Just kidding. This is a Rwandan myth that obviously cannot protect you from STD’s or unwanted pregnancies. So no matter what they tell you, drinking this delicious candy-flavoured beverage alone will NOT save you. (Everyone knows it only works if you dance naked around a bonfire while consuming the soda. Please.)
Take a Morning-After Pill
More commonly referred to by Americans as ‘Plan B’ (because the pharmaceutical company producing Plan B, has monopoly on emergency contraceptives in the free and fair democracy of USA), the morning-after pill can prevent a pregnancy for up to 120 hours after intercourse. You should, however, take it as soon as possible because it is most effective within the first 12 hours after sex. The brand Nor Levo is available over the counter at the pharmacy, and will cost you Rwf 11,000. There is no age limit on Nor Levo.
Immediately after unprotected intercourse, you should get tested at one of the many health clinics around Kigali or even at a public hospital. These are the following diseases and viruses you might have contracted: Chlamydia, HPV (genital warts), Gonorrhoea, Crabs (pubic lice), Trichomoniasis, Syphilis, Genital Herpes (Virus HSV-2), and HIV.
The HIV virus is obviously the one of most concern, and also the one that will take the longest to show up on a test. I would advise you to get tested immediately after having unprotected sex, then again after six weeks and finally repeat it again 3 to 6 months after the incident. An HIV test looks for antibodies in your bloodstream as a response to the virus, and these might not show up until 4 to 6 weeks after infection.
Getting tested for HIV is free in Rwanda, for citizens and expats alike. Thus, if you wander into a public hospital (such as King Faisal or CHUC) they will test your blood. You will have to wait one day for the results, and you might have to wait a while before they have time to draw your blood. Other STDs you can detect in a blood test are Syphilis and Hepatitis B, but you have to ask for these specifically and they cost a little extra.
If you want your results faster, you can visit a private health clinic. They are scattered around the city, and are usually open every day of the week from early in the morning until around midnight. Test results are generally ready after around 30 minutes. The following prices are from Plateau Polyclinic in town (on the road between Serena Hotel and the Gorilla roundabout), but according to the kind gentleman I met with, most private clinics will have similar prices for STD testing.
HIV – 5,000 Rwf
Syphilis (2 tests) – 13,000 Rwf
Hepatitis B – 16,000 Rwf
Chlamydia – 6,000 Rwf.
If you did not take a morning-after pill after unprotected sex, and suspect you might be pregnant, there is a home-pregnancy test available at the pharmacy called EasySweet (Rwf 600). It is such a super-awesome name that I recommend you all try getting accidentally pregnant – and when you get the news that you’re not pregnant, you can go: ‘SWEEEEEEET!’
Okay, so EasySweet didn’t give you the answer you were hoping for, and you need an abortion. Book your ticket home – abortion is illegal in Rwanda, apart from in cases where the mother’s health is in serious danger. The punishment for women undergoing this procedures – or doctor’s performing it – can be up to five years in prison.
If you don’t have money for a ticket home, you can visit one of the witch doctors in the villages, and they’ll give you some roots to chew on and an ointment or two to rub on your ears and stomach. It might work, or it might kill you or severely damage your fetus. Again, we’re back to whether you wanna be healthy and alive, or…well, dead. Yeah, hard choice that one.
The Adoption Option
…just sounds so cool that I wanted to write it down. What a genius rhyme in the English language. But yo, seriously, I’d totally adopt your unwanted baby. Send me an e-mail, and I’ll put you in touch with my lawyer. It’d be great if you could attach recent photos of you and the father, so I can calculate how cute the child will be. Thx.