April 24, 2001 05:37pm
Brazil to Enlist Porn Films in ``Safe Sex'' Drive
by: Marco Sibaja
(BRASILIA, Brazil) -- Brazil, known for its aggressive campaign against AIDS, plans to enlist the pornographic film industry in the cause by requiring erotic films to carry a safe-sex message.
Under legislation awaiting final approval in Congress, all pornographic films for sale or rental in Brazil would need to carry a five-second opening message advising the use of a condom during sexual intercourse.
``Our objective was to alert the population to the importance of using the condom,'' said Celio de Mello, chief adviser to Deputy Fernando Goncalves, a sponsor of the bill.
``We wanted people to be well-informed when watching films with a sexual appeal,'' de Mello said Tuesday, expressing confidence the measure would be approved.
Brazil has become a model in the AIDS fight, thanks to extensive precautionary advertising and a policy of distributing free anti-AIDS drugs. The nation of about 170 million people slashed AIDS deaths to 24.8 percent of the infected population in 1999 from 73.7 percent in 1990.
In absolute numbers, Latin America's largest country suffers from a high rate of AIDS infection, with 200,000 registered cases of HIV, and estimates of up to 540,000 total cases.
But only 0.6 percent of the adult population is infected, compared with an estimated 36 percent in Botswana, the world's highest rate.
The measure has been approved by the Chamber of Deputies and two Senate committees. The date for a full Senate vote has not yet been set.