Brazil sees World Cup ‘as opportunity to promote safe sex’

The Brazilian government is using the 2014 World Cup, and the international attention that comes with it, as an opportunity to promote safe sex and to encourage people to be tested for HIV, according to Reuters.

Ivone De Paula, Sao Paulo state's coordinator for sexually transmitted disease prevention, told the website: "We can't miss an opportunity like this. The fact that it's the Cup lightens the mood a bit. People say 'Hey I'm going to watch the game, I'm having fun, why not get tested too?'"

The push for awareness and safety is part of ‘Protect the Goal’ - a UNAIDS-back HIV prevention programme that provides super quick testing, counselling, free condoms and emergency retroviral drugs.

This campaign is very similar to those conducted during the annual Carnival of Brazil festival. Aggressive HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention efforts in Brazil are often held up as example for the rest of the developing world.

Organisers predict that the strategy will see thousands of people being tested for HIV across the 12 cities hosting games during the tournament. Officials believe that for some, this will be the first time they have ever been tested for the virus.

On June 13th 2014, football fans were able to receive testing while a giant screen displayed the Cameroon vs Mexico match.

According to Reuters, a middle-aged man who asked not to be identified, said: "I had no idea this was going to be here, I just came across it. I wouldn't know where to get tested otherwise, so this helps quite a lot."

In an attempt to make the campaign a little less solemn, limited-edition condoms have been created. These rubbers sport the colour of Brazil’s flag and supposedly taste like the Caipirinha cocktail - made with lime, sugar and a kind of white rum known as cachaca. They have been hailed by some as ‘the unofficial contraceptive of the World Cup’.