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Brazil handing out 55 million condoms for Carnival

Associated Press

344-Brazil_Carnival_sff_embedded_prod_affiliate_56 RIO DE JANERIO -- Brazilian health officials have kicked off an AIDS awareness campaign and will hand out 55 million condoms during the annual Carnival festival that begins next week.

A new television ad features a talking condom that loudly reminds young people to take him along when they go out to party.

Health Minister Jose Temporao said Saturday that this year's campaign is focusing on educating young women and young gay men to use protection.

The slogan is: "The condom. For love, passion or just sex. Always use it."

Last year the government distributed nearly 500 million free condoms throughout Brazil, or an average 2.6 condoms for every citizen.

The government hasn't said how many will be handed out this year.

Caption: A reveler dressed as a nurse helps an ambulance trying to go through the crowd during the Ceu na Terra parade in Rio de Janeiro, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010. Hundreds gathered in the streets of Santa Teresa following the tramcar during one of the many parades before Carnival, which runs Feb. 12-15. Felipe Dana / AP Photo

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