The Brazilian government will distribute approximately 1 billion free condoms to the population, in 2006, as one of the ways chosen to combat the AIDS virus.
In addition, the government is also building a condom factory in the country. These measures were announced by the Minister of Health, Saraiva Felipe, during presentation of the report "AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases", Wednesday, November 30,
According to the Director of the National AIDS/STD Program, Pedro Chequer, the use of condoms has been increasingly stimulated in Brazil. In 2005, the federal government distributed 650 million condoms.
Saraiva Felipe said that the government-owned condom factory, the first in the world, is being built in the city of Xapuri, in the northern state of Acre, and will be ready next year. Initial production must reach 100 million units.
According to the report, the North region had an increase of 94.7% in the number of AIDS cases, during the 1988-2004 period, while the Southeast had a reduction of 15.6%. Data were collected by the state secretariats of health, from 2004 to June/2005.
"We have problems related to access to services in the North region, and the Ministry of Health along with the Ministry of Defense are working to cover these gaps," said Brazil’s Health Minister.