Wednesday, February 08, 2006

25 MILLION free condoms? Go to Brazil...

The Brazilian government will distribute 25 million free condoms to promote safe sex during the country's Carnival holidays, the Health Ministry said Monday.

The condoms, provided under the government's acclaimed anti-AIDS program, will be given out at health clinics and in sites like public squares and dances. "It's that time of year when we boost distribution because of the increase in demand," an official from the Health Ministry's anti-AIDS program said.

Carnival kicks off across the nation on February 25, heralding several days of parades, parties, revelry and, for some people, sexual abandon. The Rio de Janeiro carnival is the best known worldwide but every big city has its own celebrations.

The Health Ministry said the purpose of the handout was to prevent the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Last year, it announced a plan to distribute more than 1 billion free condoms nationwide in 2006.

The Roman Catholic Church in Brazil -- the world's largest Catholic country -- routinely denounces such programs as encouraging sex and contravening its stand against contraception. Article here.

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