2013 Carnival: UNODC supports launch of campaign by Brazil's Ministry of Health to prevent AIDS and STDs
31 January 2013 - The Brazilian Health Ministry launched today in Rio de Janeiro a campaign to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and AIDS during the 2013 Carnival. With the aim of encouraging the use of condoms in all sexual relations among the 15 to 49 year old population, the campaign "Life is better without AIDS" was presented by the director of the Ministry's Department of STDs, AIDS and Viral Hepatitis, Dirceu Greco, during an event at Morro dos Prazeres, in Santa Teresa.
Greco noted that currently there are about 150 thousand Brazilians who do not know they live with HIV. According to him, 500 million condoms were distributed and five million people were tested for HIV by Brazil's Unified Health System in 2012. In 2013, 73 million condoms will be available for distribution during Carnival.
With this campaign the Ministry of Health wants to emphasize that, despite the availability of free treatment for AIDS in Brazil and the fact that it is possible to live well with HIV, AIDS is a serious disease that still has no cure.
In addition to a representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), at the launch were also present the coordinator of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Brazil, Pedro Chequer, the Secretary of Health Surveillance, Jarbas Barbosa , representatives of the government of Rio de Janeiro and civil society organizations - such as the Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association (ABIA), the Center for Health Promotion and the Forum for NGO/AIDS in Rio de Janeiro - as well as local residents and artists.