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Shanghai to Install 1,200 Condom Machines

Shanghai will install 1,200 more condom machines amid efforts to prevent the spread of AIDS, local family planning authorities said Tuesday, as the 18th World AIDS Day approaches.

These machines, including 1,000 automatic sellers and 200 others free of charge, will be set up at public places of entertainment, residential communities and gathering places of migrant populations, the authorities said.

Currently, Shanghai has 700 condom machines and 17,000 delivering sites free of charge.

World AIDS Day, initiated by the World Health Organization in 1988, falls on December 1 each year.

The latest statistics show that China had 135,630 cases of reported HIV infection by the end of September, said Vice Health Minister Wang Longde on Monday in Beijing at a national tele-conference on HIV/AIDS prevention and control.

The cases involve 31,143 AIDS patients and 7,773 fatalities, Wang said.

However, experts estimate that the officially recorded cases only account for some 12.7 percent of the actual infection number, which means that China now has about 840,000 HIV, carriers including some 80,000 AIDS patients.

(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2005)

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