The Ministry of Health of Brazil announced that it will purchase 1.2 billion condoms next year for the country's national program against AIDS, according to Brazilian media reports.
The ministry informed that it would be "the largest purchase of condoms in world history." Last year, Brazil's Health Ministry bought 406 million condoms.
Brazil, Latin America's most populated country has an estimated population of 190 million, many of them devout Catholics. The condoms program is based on United Nations recommendations.
The first batch of condoms will be delivered in February and passed on to government health institutions and educational facilities in the largest cities throughout the country.
The ministry said condoms are to be distributed free of charge. Some of them will also be made available in tourist areas during the annual Carnaval in February, one of the world's largest people's celebration.
According to UN figures, there are over 33 million AIDS-infected people in the world with 1.6 million in Latin America, half of them in Brazil. Mexico is a distant second, with 200,000 AIDS-infected people reported among its population of 108 million.