Meet Braulio the Penis, Star of Controversial AIDS Prevention Campaign
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) _ An incorrigible womanizer bickering with his penis, nicknamed Braulio, is the star of a series of government-produced ads against the spread of AIDS.
But men named Braulio and their relatives have flooded the Health Ministry with angry phone calls, and the government will review the spots this week to decide if they’re obscene, the daily newspaper O Globo reported Saturday.
The spots, first aired on TV and radio on Thursday, feature a man at odds with his penis, which insists on having indiscriminate sex with as many women as possible without using a condom.
Lair Guerra de Macedo, coordinator of the Health Ministry’s AIDS Prevention Program, told O Globo that Braulio’s owner ``is the typical Brazilian male who knows all about the disease but refuses to take any preventive measures.″
In one spot, Braulio and his owner, sitting in a chair, have the following dialogue:
Braulio: ``This place is full of interesting women.″
Owner: ``Behave yourself, Braulio.″
Braulio: ``How do you expect me to behave with so many beautiful women?″
Owner: ``OK, but if you come out you’re going to have to use a condom.″
Braulio: ``OK, you win. But get the condom quickly because there’s this gorgeous woman staring at me.″
The spots have caused quite a stir.
The Health Ministry’s department for sexually transmitted diseases has received at least 18 telephone calls from men named Braulio who were upset about the use of their name, O Globo said.
The CBN all-news radio network said its Brasilia station received some indignant calls from relatives of Braulios concerned about jokes and improprieties.
The attorney general’s consumer defense agency, which got over 100 calls that the spots were obscene, will review the ads to decide this week if they should be censored, O Globo said.
``In a First World country, we’d be getting rich with a libel suit,″ said businessman Braulio Torres, 58, who told the daily Estado de Sao Paulo he’s been the brunt of jokes since the spots began. ``This is humiliating.″
But why Braulio?
The Health Ministry hired the Master polling agency in the southern city of Curitiba to find out popular nicknames for the male sex organ, newspapers reported. Among them were Anastacio, Bimbo, Tonho, Petronio and Braulio.
The other names reportedly were discarded for different reasons _ Petronio was too long, Bimbo too childish. Braulio was felt to be just right.
The Roman Catholic Church says the campaign has gone too far.
The secretary general of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops, Monsignor Raimundo D’Amasceno Assis, said ``the moral and ethical aspects of this campaign are totally unacceptable.″
He said it promotes indiscriminate sex and ``gives the false impression that the use of a condom is 100 percent effective against the disease.″