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February 07, 2006

Condoms in Brazil

You knew it just had to be a Catholic country in which 25 million condoms are being handed out.

SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - 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.
Of course, the Catholic Church is opposed.
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.
But who listens to clergy these days?

Now, we in Maryland can do our part to help the Brazilians fight AIDS through condom distribution. We can send them our infamous condom-on-the-cucumber video, translated into Portuguese. And then we can send them a few of our Cucumber People. On a one-way ticket.