Brazil To Distribute 10M Condoms Ahead of Carnival as Part of HIV Prevention Campaign
The Brazilian Ministry of Health plans to distribute 10 million condoms at no cost ahead of the 2007 Carnival festivities as part of its effort to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, ministry officials said on Sunday, the AP/International Herald Tribune reports. According to a 2005 survey released by the health ministry earlier this month, almost one-third of young Brazilians responded that they did not use a condom the last time they had sex because one was not available or they could not afford one. Health Minister Agenor Alvares at a news conference in Rio de Janeiro said, "The idea of this campaign is to show that the joy that comes with Carnival must be accompanied by some precautionary measures." The HIV prevention campaign also will include several nationally broadcast radio and TV advertisements, the official Agencia Brasil news service said. About 15 million condoms have been distributed this year, according to the health ministry. Cardinal Geraldo Majella, president of Brazil's Roman Catholic Bishops Conference, said that he does not believe condom distribution efforts will help curb the spread of HIV in the country. This year's Carnival festivities are scheduled to take place from Feb. 17 to Feb. 20 (Azzoni, AP/International Herald Tribune, 2/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.