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Beijing Hotels to Offer Condoms to Combat AIDS

Three-star and higher-level hotels in Beijing have been ordered to stock condoms in every guest room by the end of May amid an increase of HIV/AIDS infections in the city.

As of April 30, Beijing has registered 5,219 HIV/AIDS cases, including 569 AIDS patients, and sexual intercourse is an important factor that accelerated the spread of the fatal condition in the national capital, officials with Beijing Municipal Health Bureau (BMHB) said at the launching ceremony of the condom-promotion campaign on Monday.

The number of HIV/AIDS cases transmitted through sexual activities has far surpassed that caused by other means, which demands immediate promotion of using condoms among the public, the officials said.

In addition to hotels, free or paid condoms will be available at karaoke and night clubs, spa resorts, and other entertainment places by the end of the year to help sexually-active people, HIV carriers, AIDS patients and their spouses have safe sexual activities, according to the bureau.

The mission, jointly initiated by BMHB and Beijing Municipal Tourist Bureau, also involves participation of 26 other departments.

By the end of October last year, Beijing had registered 4,663 HIV/AIDS cases since 1985, of which 171 were foreigners, 964 locals and 3,524 from other parts of China.

(Xinhua News Agency May 19, 2008)

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