RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian Ministry of Health
launched on Friday a new campaign against AIDS, which focuses on middle-aged
The decision to target at this particular group was due to sharp increase
of the AIDS cases among middle-aged women in the country, said the ministry.
The number of Brazilian women aged 50 and up infected with HIV increased
threefold in the last 10 years, from 3.7 cases in 1996 to 11.6 cases for every
100,000 women in 2006, according to the ministry.
Most of the infected women in this group are married or in stable
relationships, it said.
According to a recent study, 72 percent of the Brazilian women aged 50 and
up do not use condoms in their sexual relations, not even with casual partners.
"It is almost a cultural issue," said Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao.
"The youngsters have already grown up with this worry about AIDS prevention,
while older women are not used to it."
The campaign will be publicized by Brazil's major mass media, alerting
middle-aged women to the importance of using condoms in sexual activities.
The ministry will also distribute more condoms in the country in the run-up
to the Carnival festivities, which starts next week. In addition to the 45
million condoms distributed every month, another 10 million will be distributed
in the next few days.
About 630,000 people are infected with HIV in Brazil and 255,000 of them
are not even aware of their infection, according to the ministry.