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Brazil refuses to
bow to U.S. AIDS funding rule

Brazil refuses to
bow to U.S. AIDS funding rule

Brazil loses $48 million HIV prevention grant for refusing to condemn sex work.

Brazil has been alerted by the U.S. Agency for International Development that the country is not eligible to renew a $48 million HIV prevention grant because the country will not sign a pledge opposing sex work, The Washington Post reports. The U.S. government now requires all recipients of AIDS funds to publicly oppose sex work. But Brazil refuses to bow to pressure from the Bush administration to sign such a pledge, saying its HIV prevention work with the nation's sex workers has been a key part in slashing its HIV incidence level. Brazil is the only country receiving U.S. AIDS funds to defy the new U.S. requirement.

"When we started in the 1980s, our projected AIDS rates were exactly the same as Africa's, but now it's a completely different story," Mariangela Simao, deputy director of Brazil's national HIV program, told the Post. "I'm convinced it's a result of the way the government has responded. We provide information and resources and don't enter into moral or religious issues."

Brazilian health officials say the loss of U.S. funds will hurt the nation's HIV prevention efforts, but the country is already searching for new ways to make up the difference. One key step is opening a state-run condom factory later this year that will produce low-cost condoms that will be distributed throughout the country, reducing Brazil's need to import more expensive condoms, health officials say. (

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