Aids, Condoms, Carnival

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CASE 45 AIDS, Condoms, and Carnival
Worldwide, more than 2 million people died of AIDS in 2009, and more than 33 million are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS.

Half a million Brazilians are infected with the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and millions more are at high risk of contracting the incurable ailment, a federal study reported. The Health Ministry study is Brazil’s first official attempt to seek an estimate of the number of residents infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Many had doubted the government’s prior number of 94,997. The report by the National Program for Transmissible Diseases/AIDS said 27 million Brazilians are at high risk to contract AIDS, and another 36 million are considered to be at a medium risk. It said Brazil could have 7.5 million AIDS victims in the next decade. “If we are going to combat this epidemic, we have to do it now,” said Pedro Chequer, a Health Ministry official. Chequer said the Health Ministry would spend $300 million next year, distributing medicine and 250 million condoms and bringing AIDS awareness campaigns to the urban slums, where the disease is most rampant. Last month, Brazil became one of the few countries to offer a promising AIDS drug free to those who need it. The drug can cost as much as $12,000 a year per patient. AIDS cases in Brazil have risen so dramatically for married women that the state of São Paulo decided that it must attack a basic cultural practice in Latin America: Their husbands don’t practice safe sex. Last month, the government of Brazil’s megalopolis started promoting the newly released female condom. Many of the new AIDS cases in Brazil are married women who have children, according to a report released last month at the PanAmerican Conference on AIDS in Lima, Peru. Worldwide, women constitute the fastest-growing group of those diagnosed with…...

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