In Honor of ‘Lovers’ Day,’ Brazil Donates 800,000 Condoms to Curb the Spread of HIV
In honor of today's celebration of Lovers' Day, the Brazilian equivalent of Valentine's Day, the Brazilian government plans to dispense 800,000 free condoms at cinemas and newsstands across the country, the Associated Press reports. Funded by the National Business Council to Prevent HIV/AIDS, which includes companies such as the Brazilian division of Volkswagen and the national airline Varig, the effort is aimed at heterosexuals, who account for 43.5% of the country's new HIV infections. The Brazilian Health Ministry, which already gives away about 200 million condoms a year, wants to triple condom usage from its current level of 600 million condoms per year, Paulo Teixeira, head of the government's anti-AIDS efforts, said at the launch of the initiative. The program touched off on Saturday and will continue through today. An "aggressive" AIDS prevention plan and the distribution of free anti-AIDS medications to HIV-positive citizens has halved the number of AIDS-related deaths in Brazil since 1995. Unofficial estimates place the number of Brazilian HIV infections around 600,000 (Associated Press, 6/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.