Just in time for next month’s World Youth Day gathering in Rio de Janeiro, the health minister of Brazil has ended the South American nation’s on-line “I am happy being a prostitute” campaign. Some posters carried that message; others in the series teased, “I cannot be seen without a condom, my love.”
In a country where prostitution is legal, the campaign was designed to promote condom use and reduce the stigma against sex workers.
Health minister Alexandre Padilha told reporters that he didn’t think the campaign’s message was one which his office should be sending. “The role of the ministry,” he said, “is to have specific content to encourage prevention among sex workers, who are a very vulnerable group.”
Brazil expects a large uptick in the sex trade in 2014, when the FIFA World Cup is held in the nation’s capital, and again in 2016 when the Olympics come to that city. Will prostitution be big business during the week of July 23-28, when Catholic young people converge in Rio de Janeiro during the 14th annual World Youth Day?
No, not so much.