Italian gay man goes to Vatican to get cured of syphilis

Italian national health system recalled syphilis medicines one year ago and the parliament has now intervened

Italian gay man goes to Vatican to get cured of syphilis
20 April 2012

An Italian gay man with syphilis has been forced to seek treatment in Vatican City after he was told chemists in Rome no longer provide the medicine he needs.

The 24-year-old went to the Pope's home country looking for a cure to his illness after the Italian national health system discontinued the medicines against syphilis one year ago.

But, in the Vatican, the price of the medicine is three times that of what it was in Italy.

Now, the man, who has asked not to be named, can buy it at €180 (£147 or $237) for one month, while in Italy it was at €60 (£49 or $79).

When he went to Rome's main hospital, the Policlinico Umberto I, the doctor told him to go to the Vatican.

Born in Brazil, the man is also struggling against the Italian bureaucracy and cannot be treated at the hospital because he does not have a permanent visa. So, for the injections, he had to hire a private nurse.

The Italian parliament has been involved and MPs of the Radicali (the Radical Party) have asked the president of the low chamber to intervene.

Some Roman local councillors and two members or the assembly of Regione Lazio (Rome’s state) have done the same.

The Certi Diritti association is helping the man to find a solution to his problem.

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