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Brazil drops 'happy being a prostitute' ad campaign

From Marilia Brocchetto, CNN
June 5, 2013 -- Updated 0956 GMT (1756 HKT)
Poster from the campaign for the International Day of Prostitutes features the phrase
Poster from the campaign for the International Day of Prostitutes features the phrase "I am happy being a prostitute."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The campaign aimed to promote safe sex
  • It also sought to reduce the stigma against sex workers
  • Prostitution is legal in Brazil

(CNN) -- Following widespread criticism, Brazil's health ministry has scrapped an online campaign called "I'm happy being a prostitute."

Prostitution is legal in Brazil and is expected to spike as the nation gears up for the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

The campaign aimed to promote safe sex and reduce the stigma against sex workers.

Sex workers take English lessons

Other posters in the campaign carried slogans such as "I cannot be seen without a condom, my love."

But Tuesday, Health Minister Alexandre Padilha dropped the campaign, telling reporters he didn't think it was a message his office should be sending.

"The role of the ministry is to have specific content to encourage prevention among sex workers, who are a very vulnerable group," he said.

As the nation prepares for the sports world stage, sex workers are getting ready as well.

In the city of Belo Horizonte, prostitutes are lining up for free English classes to enable them to communicate with clients.

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