Yesterday marked the end of the world famous, pre-Lent festival of earthly indulgence, Brazilian Carnaval. In a country where sexual expression is already a prominent aspect of national culture, safe-sex education becomes even more important during this 5-day holiday. It is observed by nearly every Brazilian as well as hundreds of thousands of international tourists.
With support from the federal Ministry of Health, cities and states across Brazil ramped up their AIDS education campaigns this past week with increased distribution of free condoms and information in addition to increased availability of free, immediate AIDS testing. In Rio de Janeiro alone, 3 million free condoms, 330,000 paper fans with slogans promoting safe sex, 55,000 goody bags, and more than 160,000 informational pamphlets were distributed to revelers.
Health Minister Alexandre Padilha traveled to the country’s five biggest Carnaval celebrations in Rio, São Paulo, Salvador, Recife, and Olinda to promote the national campaign. He appeared at street parties and parades alongside local government officials and pop culture icons, including Daniela Mercury. Numerous other music artists and soap opera stars testified in support of condom use and safe sex in videos on the Health Ministry’s YouTube channel.
Country music singer Michel Teló even adapted the lyrics of his international chart-topper “Aí se eu te pego” to remind revelers to use condoms! Watch the performance below: