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There is less than a week to go before Rio de Janeiro’s famous carnival begins in earnest but thousands of people are already in the Brazilian capital for early festivities.

Tourists from all over Brazil and the rest of the world have flocked to the city to take part in a string of parties to make sure the main event passes off alright on the night.

Authorities say 88 percent of the city’s hotel rooms are booked up and they’re treating this year’s carnival as practice for the influx of people expected next year for football’s World Cup.

As part of the festivities, the Brazilian Health Ministry has launched its annual AIDS prevention campaign to remind partygoers about the importance of safe sex.

Extra attention is also being paid to public safety in nightclubs after a deadly fire killed 236 people in southern Sao Paulo last month.

Civil Defence inspectors are carrying out extensive checks with the industry now under intense scrutiny.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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