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Beijing hotels told to provide condoms in every room
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All hotels in Beijing will be required to provide condoms in every room by the end of next year following news that the capital registered 973 new HIV/AIDS cases in the first 10 months of this year, up 54 percent on a year earlier.


The Beijing Municipal Health Bureau has been pushing hotels to provide condoms in every guest room for the last couple of years but so far they are only available in 133 hotels - 15,907 guest rooms - out of a total 700 hotels in Beijing, according to local government statistics.


The hotels in Beijing, however, are not required to supply condoms free of charge. The health bureau said the decision on how much to charge was up to the hotels.


A source with Beijing's St Regis Hotel said they had already made condoms available in every room but they were not free.


Ye Binshan, an official with the hotel chain Home Inn, said they were yet to provide condoms in every room but do sell condoms in their hotels.


"We will cooperate with the government in its AIDS prevention efforts if we are required to provide condoms in every room," he said.


Bureau statistics revealed that at the end of October this year, Beijing had registered 4,663 HIV/AIDS cases since 1985, of which 171 were foreigners, 964 locals and 3,524 from other regions in China.


The Regulation on AIDS Prevention and Control, issued by the State Council in January last year, urges all public places designated by provincial or municipal governments should provide condoms or condom vending machines.  


(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2007)


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