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AIDS Wkly Plus. 1996 Dec 9:9.

Brazil launches anti-AIDS campaign for Indians. Education and prevention.

[No authors listed]



Anthropologists are educating Indian tribes regarding methods of preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), particularly acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), in a new Brazilian campaign. Estimates of the number of Indians who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vary because records do not categorize by race. While the National Indian Foundation (Funai) believes 20 of 320,000 Indians are infected, the Catholic Church's Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) states that 11 Indians have died of AIDS since 1989, and that another 4 are HIV-positive. According to Pedro Chequer, campaign coordinator, the Indian population is at low risk, but highly vulnerable to the spread of HIV infection; each tribe has different sexual mores, which must be respected, and its own language, which requires educational materials in that language. Based on recent studies, 10-15% of Brazilian Indians are infected with some form of STD. Indians at high risk, those living near urban areas or having regular contact with mining and forestry workers, particularly the wildcat golddiggers known as "garimpeiros," are being targeted. The use of army personnel, who are often the only non-indigenous people in isolated areas of the Amazon, in the campaign is being considered. The Ministry of Heath is also promoting studies of Indian culture and an education campaign in 1310 schools, reaching 62,000 indigenous students and 2504 teachers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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