Brazil to Flood Cities With Free Condoms

BRASILIA, Brazil, FEB. 4, 2001 ( The Brazilian Health Ministry will distribute 22 million free condoms in several cities during carnival.

Flavio de Souza, health ministry spokesman, explained that the figure is double that of last year, and that the initiative is taken to avoid the spread of AIDS and other venereal diseases.

Government campaigns of mass distribution of condoms have not achieved their objective, however. According to the Pan-American Health Organization, 550,000 Brazilians are carriers of the virus — about half of Latin America´s total number.

On Friday, Bishop Raymundo Damasceno, secretary-general of the Brazilian bishops´ conference, said the massive campaigns of free condoms have shown that they do not arrest the spread of AIDS, but rather, propagate it.