Hotels in Shenzhen may soon start making condoms available to control the spread of HIV/AIDS in Shenzhen.
They could be available within the year, said Zhang Yingji, a section chief of Shenzhen Municipal Health Bureau.
The condoms will be placed in hotel rooms throughout Shenzhen and guests will pay to use them, according to the chief of the AIDS control section of Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention, who identified himself only as Feng.
"We won't provide them for free for fear that some people might take them out of hotels and sell them," Feng said.
The condoms would be cheap and the hotels would make little profit from them, he said.
The health bureau was working with other municipal departments to draw up a policy for condoms in hotels, Feng said.
"The city will allocate a sum of money to buy the condoms and provide them to hotels," he said. However, it was up to the public security bureau to decide when the condoms would be available in hotels.
The condom program is a spin-off from a campaign to make Shenzhen an exemplary city in controlling AIDS. The city is also working with a US AIDS control project to build a sound system for monitoring, data-collection and analysis.
Shenzhen is waging war against AIDS, which is starting to spread from high-risk groups to the general population. According to a report by the city's public health bureau, Shenzhen has documented some 652 HIV carriers so far with 145 diagnosed as AIDS patients, an average annual increase of 24.7 percent.
(Shenzhen Daily June 25 ,2004)