Brazil Plans To Offer Universal, No-Cost Access to Condoms, AIDS Director Says
Brazil plans to distribute three billion condoms a year as part of a plan to offer universal access to condoms free-of-charge, Pedro Chequer, head of the country's AIDS program, said on Wednesday, Reuters reports. The condom program will build on the country's AIDS treatment program, which offers antiretroviral drugs at no cost to all HIV-positive people. Brazil's government distributed 20 million condoms in 1995 when the program began and plans to distribute 600 million this year, Chequer said. However, he did not say when the country would reach the "ideal" of distributing three billion condoms a year, which would be equivalent to 35 condoms for each of the 85 million people thought to be sexually active in the country, Reuters reports. "The contraceptive is mandatory in all non-stable sexual relationships," Chequer said. The government plans to provide incentives to local condom companies to guarantee that there will be sufficient supplies to carry out the program, Chequer said, according to Reuters. There are approximately 600,000 HIV-positive people in the country, although only 200,000 are aware of their status, according to government estimates (Reuters, 8/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.