In honor of Brazil’s five-day Carnival celebration—marking the beginning of Lent—health officials are distributing 19.5 million free condoms in order to curb new HIV/AIDS infections, UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph reports (, 11/28).

According to the article, the condom distribution program—launched by health minister Jose Gomes Temporao—has sparked criticism from church officials in Brazil, a country with one of the world’s largest Roman Catholic populations.

“The church has nothing against having fun during Carnival, but the banalization of human sexuality is something we cannot tolerate,” says Bishop Antonio Augusto Dias Duarte of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops.