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Shanghai Starts Campaign on AIDS Prevention

Only 30 percent of females offering sex service in small hair salons, massage parlors and karaoke bars use condoms, according to a survey in Shanghai's Minhang District, officials with the Shanghai Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) said Wednesday.

Health officials plan to provide education to employees of all local hair salons, massage parlors and karaoke bars, whether they provide prostitution or not, and set up condom machines in the facilities this year, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported Thursday.

The campaign will begin after a national law on AIDS prevention and control goes into effect on March 1.

The law states that all public places designated by provincial or municipal governments must provide condoms or condom vending machines and allow health authorities to educate employees.

Businesses that break the rule will face fines ranging from 500 yuan (US$61) to 5,000 yuan and could lose their business license.

The center will also conduct a survey on half of those providing prostitution in entertainment venues in the city this year, to find out about their personal situations, health, understanding of AIDS and how to prevent the spread of the disease, access to condoms and what type of education they are willing to accept.

Health officials pointed out that the city is home to more than 20,000 small hair salons, massage parlors and karaoke bars. Some workers at those places have been found to deal in illegal sex service.

"The city government will work out a concrete working guideline to regulate which kinds of venues must provide condoms within the next few months," the newspaper cited Zhuang Minghua from Shanghai CDC's AIDS and sexually-transferred disease prevention and control department as saying.

(Xinhua News Agency February 17, 2006)

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