Boxing fans in Brazil are buying boxing briefs on the black market, in a bid to combat a Zika virus pandemic that has been devastating the region.
Bota Boxes, a Brazil-based company, says its boxer briefs are designed for men and women with “an athletic build” to withstand the Zika virus, but also for men with “a low-key look”.
The company said it started selling boxer briefs in Brazil in 2016, after the virus hit the country.
“Boxers were the most visible symbol of the struggle against Zika,” said Bota Boxa’s co-founder, Luis Pereira, a Brazilian-born lawyer who lives in Miami.
“They’re the first to wear them, and they’re the most expensive.”
Pereira said the boxer briefs have been used to protect men against Zika, but are also used by women who wear them.
“It’s a fashion statement, but it’s a message, a way to express that women are fighting this epidemic, and that they’re fighting for their rights, and for their future,” Pereira said.
Brazilian President Michel Temer announced on Wednesday that the country’s president and prime minister had been diagnosed with Zika and the country is now in a state of emergency.
The president, Michel Temers, said the country was on a path to recovery.
Temer also ordered the closure of all beaches, parks and beaches in Rio de Janeiro, which has been hit by high levels of the virus.
Temers said the outbreak is expected to end by November, and all public services would be shut down until then.