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More Brazilians (66%) Wear Condom at First Intercourse

The use of condoms during the first intercourse has increased among Brazilians, from 1998 to 2005. In this period, its use by people 16-19 years old went up from 47.8% to 65.8%, according to the Brazilian government.

This information is contained in the Survey on Sexual Behavior and Perceptions of the Brazilian Population about HIV and AIDS, performed by the Brazilian Analysis and Planning Center a non-governmental research institute.

The study shows that 37.7% of people age 20-24 used condoms in 1998; in 2005, this number rose to 55.2%.

According to the Ministry of Health, 5,040 people from all regions of Brazil were interviewed, between June and August 2005.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the Brazilian government would be distributing 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 also announced that it would be building a condom factory in Brazil. Both measures were announced by the Minister of Health, Saraiva Felipe, during presentation of the report "AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases."

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 the Felipe.

ABr

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