China's Xinjiang Region Promotes Condom Use at All Entertainment Venues
January 3, 2007
In a bid to control the spread of HIV/AIDS, health authorities in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China are requiring all cities and counties in the region to take part in the 100 percent Condom Use Program (CUP) at all entertainment venues.
Around 40 of the region's counties and cities have launched the program, the regional health department reported. Those that have not, or around half, must make condoms available at every entertainment place in the first half of 2007, it has mandated.
The first CUP was started in Thailand in 1989. Since that time, other Asian countries have adopted the practice, producing solid results in HIV/AIDS and STD control. Backed by the World Health Organization (WHO), CUP makes condoms a requirement for all sex workers at all times.
In 2001, the Chinese Ministry of Health and WHO launched a trial CUP program in Wuhan City in Hubei province, Jingjiang City in Jiangsu province, Danzhou City in Hainan province and Lixian County of Hunan province. The program has now been fully implemented in Hubei, Hunan, Yunnan and Hainan provinces. In addition, the provinces of Shandong, Gansu, Liaoning and Fujian, and the Guanxi Zhuang Autonomous Region are carrying out the program.
Xinjiang ranks fourth in HIV/AIDS infections out of 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China and accounts for around one-tenth of the country's total cases. According to estimates, the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Xinjiang exceeds 60,000. The provincial government has vowed to limit the number of cases to 120,000 by 2010 and increase the rate of condom use among high-risk groups to 90 percent.
Xinhua News Agency