Dalian rolls out condom campaign

By Wu Yong (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-13 06:54

DALIAN: This coastal city has ordered all entertainment places to display and sell condoms in an effort to fight against the deadly HIV/AIDS virus.

Although in line with the national drive to stop the spread of the virus from high-risk people to the general public, city authorities have taken it a step further.

Those who fail to provide condoms will face a penalty of between 500 yuan ($64) and 5,000 yuan.

"Increasing condom use at entertainment places will bring HIV/AIDS infections under control and prevent its further spread," said Tong Wei, HIV/AIDS prevention office chief of Dalian Disease Prevention and Control Center, yesterday.

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The city launched its 100 Percent Condom Use Program in the middle of last year.

It makes condoms compulsory for all sex-workers in the city and for those who work at entertainment centres.

Liaoning health department figures show there are 636 reported HIV/AIDS cases, and 34.99 percent contracted the virus through unsafe sex in the province.

In the past year, Dalian has seen a 46.67 percent increase in HIV/AIDS, unprotected sex being the major cause. Local authorities declined to give a figure.

Tong warned that there would be more unprotected sex as people become more open and international.

The floating populations of cities add to the problem.

A slew of measures are in place under the province's condom-use program. These include face-to-face interviews with sex workers, counseling, and distribution of AIDS information and condoms.

The program is a joint effort by the Chinese Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.

It has been implemented on a trial basis in Hubei Province's Wuhan, Jiangsu Province's Jingjiang, Hainan Province's Danzhou and Hunan Province's Lixian County.

Ministry of Health statistics show that the number of reported HIV/AIDS cases grew to 203,527 nationwide by April this year.

(China Daily 06/13/2007 page5)

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