The Rio Olympics have not yet begun, but the Games have already set a record — in the number of free condoms for athletes.
Officials will be distributing 4, 50,000 condoms to the 10,500 athletes expected in Brazil starting on July 24, the day the Olympic Village opens, said Lucas Dantas, a spokesman for the Rio 2016 Committee who spoke with AFP on Thursday.
That’s an average of 42 condoms per athlete and a three-fold increase over the number of condoms distributed at the London Olympics, the Folha de Sao Paulo daily reported.
One third — or 150,000 — of the condoms to be given out by Brazil’s Ministry of Health will be female condoms, Dantas added.
Why so many condoms? “There are never enough!” Dantas joked.
On a more serious note, he said Brazil is a leader in the world when it comes to AIDS prevention.
“Brazil really encourages safe sex and athletes set an example to the general population. They can play an important role in the fight against AIDS,” he said.
Dantas also noted that many Olympic athletes do not have access to condoms in their native countries and take the freebies home after the Games.
Athletes can obtain the “little shirts of Venus,” as condoms are called in Brazil, at the Olympic Village health clinic or from one of 41 dispensers.
Brazil, a country of 204 million people with the largest Catholic population in the world, is a pioneer in the fight against AIDS and offers free treatment to 730,000 HIV-positive people in the country.
Every year, Brazil’s Ministry of Health distributes more than 600 million condoms, stepping up its efforts during the hedonistic Carnival festival.
The Rio Olympic Games kick off on August 5.