The government of Rio de Janeiro state will distribute more than three million condoms free of charge during Brazil's five-day carnival that begins Friday.


State health officials said their "using a condom rates 10 in harmony" campaign aims to prevent AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, particularly among the young.

The prophylactics will be handed out to revelers who will pack the Sambodrome to watch the dazzling parades of leading samba schools Sunday night and Monday night as well as those who attend the various dancing-and-drinking street parties across the city.

State officials will also distribute 55,000 condom cases and 160,000 leaflets with information on how to prevent STDs.

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