China to offer free condoms, syringes to fight AIDS. Finally.

Good news:

CHINA plans to start handing out free condoms at all entertainment venues in a bid to stem the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS, state media reported today.

The government will also distribute new syringes and methadone, a substitute drug used to treat morphine and heroine addiction, the China Daily said, citing the health ministry.

The measures are aimed at addressing prostitution and intravenous drug abuse, which are the two top causes of HIV/AIDS transmission in China, according to the paper.

The plans have not encountered universal approval, as some officials and citizens fear that they will simply encourage activities that lead to the spread of the deadly virus, the paper said.

While the paper reported no timetable for the measures, they appeared to be long-term projects still far from realisation.

For instance, it will be another two years before the central province of Hubei completes the installation of condom dispensing machines at all entertainment venues and hotels.

A step in the right direction and something they should have initiated 10 years ago.

Related post: The indescribable tragedy of AIDS in China

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