Condom Factory in Brazil to Fight AIDS, Deforestation

Giving new meaning to the promise of “protection,” a new condom factory in northwest Brazil is expected to not only fight the spread of AIDS in that country (one of the world’s hardest-hit by the disease) but also to slow the destruction of native old-growth forests. The factory — which aims to produce 200 million condoms a year by 2006, helping to meet Brazil’s 1.2 billion annual usage demands (go Brazil!) — will use rubber from local rubber trees. By raising the value of rubber, it will make the surrounding forests more profitable to preserve than to log. Local rubber-tappers expressed delight at the development. Rubber-tappers … hmm … There’s a perfect joke to end this summary somewhere out there, but the only ones we can think of are dirty, and Daily Grist is a family publication.