The Chinese government on Monday announced that it will provide free condoms to all HIV-positive people in the country as part of an effort to slow the spread of HIV in the country, Agence France-Presse reports. Chinese officials say they hope to have at least 50% of all people at risk for contracting HIV to be regularly using condoms by the end of 2005.
Six government departments worked on the new condom regulations and announced that the free condoms will be distributed through the nation's health and family planning network. Free condom machines also will be installed at universities in Beijing as well as in hotels, bars, and other public venues in regions with a large number of migrants. The Chinese government estimates that there are 840,000 HIV-positive people in the nation and that 80,000 people to date have died of AIDS, but United Nations officials say the numbers are significantly higher.