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  • The organizing commission began a safe sex campaign to protect Olympic athletes.

    The organizing commission began a safe sex campaign to protect Olympic athletes. | Photo: Reuters

The government's new measure is set to prevent athletes from contracting the Zika virus while also protecting Brazil's Amazon rain forest.

Brazil’s government will hand out 9 million "forest-friendly" condoms to promote safe sex and help prevent athletes from skipping this summer's Olympic games due to fear of the Zika virus.

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The International Olympic Committee said 450,000 sustainably produced condoms will be given to athletes and staff at the Olympic Village.

The Brazilian Health Ministry said the condoms will also be given to passengers arriving to the country, starting next week until the inauguration of the games on Aug. 5.

Olympic organizers said dispensing machines will be available during the Olympic Games to give 300,000 male condoms and 100,000 female condoms.

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They’ve also announced they will give 175,000 sachets of lubricants.

The condoms are produced by Natex, a factory in the Amazon rain forest, close to the border with Bolivia. The latex used is gathered from Amazon rubber trees, as part of a program to encourage sustainable practices and restrain illegal deforestation.

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"Our condom factory, aside from guaranteeing a fair price for the rubber, employs hundreds," said factory worker Raimundo Mendes de Barros. "It gives the world a product, the condom, that will be very present there in Rio, to fight disease and help with birth control."

Authorities also give away free condoms during the country’s famous Carnival.

The announcement comes during worldwide concern over the spread of Zika, a mosquito-borne virus which cause birth defects such as microcephaly which causes a baby’s brain and head to be smaller than normal.

The Olympics began dispensing free condoms at the Barcelona 1992 games to prevent AIDS.

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