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Brazil Scraps "Happy Prostitue" Safe Sex Campaign

Update Date: Jun 05, 2013 12:47 PM EDT

The Brazilian Health Ministry on Wednesday pulled an outreach campaign entitled "I'm happy being a prostitute".

The campaign, which was part of a wider program aimed at reducing prejudice against sex workers and educating people about the importance of safe sex, was for International Prostitute Day.  The web campaign, which encouraged sex workers to use condoms and to not be ashamed to seek medical treatment for STDs, was dropped after coming under fire from conservative lawmakers.

Critics, especially evangelical legislators in Brazil, say that the campaign, which was published on the health ministry's website and social media site last weekend, glorified prostitution.

"We are fighting childhood prostitution and here comes a campaign encouraging it," federal deputy Liliam Sá said in a congressional committee meeting, according to Reuters.

Health Minister Alexandre Padilha said that he never endorsed the advertisement.

"I do not think this is a message the ministry should be sending," said Padilha, according to the BBC.

He added that the campaign slogan was being tested on the ministry's website, and was never meant to be published.

According to Reuters, Padilha tweeted Tuesday night that the decision to pull the campaign "came before any protests for or against it."

"For as long as I remain in office, an ad like that will not be part of our campaigns," Padilha told Agencia Estado.

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