Birth Control and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Birth control devices are often more difficult to obtain in Russia than in the US, since it requires a visit to a doctor’s office as well as a prescription. Condoms can be purchased widely in Russia and prescription birth control pills can be reliably purchased in pharmacies. They won’t be the same as in the U.S., but European pills are available. Plan and pack accordingly.
Sexually transmitted diseases are quite prevalent in Russia. Middlebury students have contracted STDs in the past, and while proper treatment is now easily obtained in Russia, you are strongly advised to observe safe sexual practices in Russia.
HIV to this day is still a serious problem in Russia with statistics particularly frightening in some of the regions. Although infection rates are highest among intravenous drug users, the virus is quickly and quietly seeping into the general population. Three quarters of all reported cases are now found in the 17-30 year age range, so university students need to be particularly cautious.