Brazil To Distribute 11M Condoms During Carnival Festivities To Prevent Spread of HIV, Other STDs
The Brazilian government plans to distribute a "record" 11 million condoms during its "erotically charged" Carnival festivities scheduled to take place Feb. 4-9 in order to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, Reuters reports (Reuters, 1/19). During Carnival -- a celebration preceding the Christian season of Lent -- millions of Brazilians and people from around the world congregate in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Recife, according to the New York Times (Benson, New York Times, 1/20). Health authorities in Brazil -- which is one of the Latin American countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS -- say that the "close contact in tropical heat intensifies sexual relations" and that the prevalence of casual sex increases during Carnival, according to Reuters. Brazil's campaign to promote condom use -- called "Dress Yourself" -- will remind Carnival attendees that a "condom should be part of their outfit, no matter how little they wear," according to Reuters. Brazilian television next week will begin showing "grinning celebrities" waving condoms and dancing to the popular Carnival samba song, "What will you wear?" The Brazilian government hopes to boost condom use in the country to three billion annually by 2008 through the government's free condom distribution program. The country, which has a population of about 180 million, currently uses about 1.2 billion condoms per year. Brazil also provides antiretroviral drugs at no cost as part of its HIV/AIDS program (Reuters, 1/19).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.