China Orders Hotels, Other Venues To Provide Condoms, Education Material in Effort To Fight Spread of HIV
China's Ministry of Health and Ministry of Commerce have ordered all hotels, resorts and public bath houses in the country to provide condoms in an effort to fight the spread of the disease, Reuters reports. The order also requires the venues to display pamphlets about HIV/AIDS (Reuters, 7/27). Health experts from the United Nations and the Chinese health ministry estimate that the undocumented number of HIV/AIDS cases in the country could be as high as 650,000 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/22/06).
According to the Associated Press, HIV/AIDS "gained a foothold" in the country because of tainted blood transfusions and blood selling practices (Associated Press, 7/27). However, some health experts say a lack of sex education and an unwillingness to talk about sex are impeding HIV prevention efforts in China. The new policy follows a move by the eastern province of Zhejiang in March that requires hotels and bars to make condoms available, Reuters reports (Reuters, 7/27).