Entertainment Venues in Beijing To Promote Safer-Sex Practices, Distribute No-Cost Condoms, HIV Prevention Pamphlets
The owners and staff of 19 entertainment venues in Beijing frequented by men who have sex with men will distribute HIV prevention pamphlets and condoms at no cost in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV among the city's MSM population, Xinhua/People's Daily reports. The venues also will advise customers on safer-sex practices. The venues agreed to distribute the materials as part of the Beijing Anti-AIDS Association for MSM Venues initiative, which was launched on May 31 by HIV/AIDS groups in the Chaoyang district.
According to Ma Xiaoyan, an expert with the Beijing municipal disease prevention and control center, the number of HIV cases spread by same-sex contact in Beijing is increasing. He added that the increase is because of low rates of condom use and the large number of people who have multiple sex partners.
Xiao Dong of the Chaoyang Chinese AIDS Volunteer Group said that owners and staff at the venues -- which include bars and massage and health centers -- will be trained in July on methods to increase awareness about HIV prevention methods among MSM. He added that the venues will promote HIV testing. "As far as we know, such venues are already frequented by" MSM who are HIV-positive, Xiao said, adding, "It would be irresponsible if we did not take urgent prevention measures."
According to Xiao, the number of venues that have joined the association is only about half of the 39 he contacted (Xinhua/People's Daily, 6/12).