A study published by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday (Jan. 28) revealed Brazilians know that they should use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). While 94% of respondents said
they are aware condoms are the best way to prevent STDs, 45% of those who described themselves as sexually active reported hey have not used condoms during casual sex encounters in 2013, a rate that has remained stable since 2004. The study heard 12,000 people aged 15-64.
Between 2004 and 2013, the ratio of Brazilians who had more than five sexual partners in the twelve months prior to the survey increased from 4.1% to 12.1%.
During a presentation to launch the latest Health Ministry advertising campaign on Wednesday, Minister Arthur Chioro said the behavioral change has led the Health Ministry to shift the focus of its campaign to promote condom use, HIV rapid tests – now available for free from the public healthcare network – and immediate treatment. Some 70 million condoms will be given out to the population as part of the campaign, in addition to a 50 million supply kept by state health authorities for their regular prevention efforts.
“There has been some change in people’s sexual behavior over the years. One of the causes for the increase in AIDS cases may reflect a more liberal attitude [to sex] in younger generations,” Chioro pointed out. This has motivated the ministry to promote testing and treatment as part of its campaign.
The Health Ministry reports 734,000 people are living with HIV in Brazil. The virus is found in 20,4 out of every 100,000 people.
Translated by Mayra Borges