In an effort to bring sex education into China’s public consciousness, the Chinese province of Zhejiang has taken matters into its own hands. Bars and hotels in the Zhejiang province must provide customers with access to condoms and other contraceptives, or face a $650 fine for non-compliance.
The rule, which went into effect on Thursday, March 1, is part of a national effort to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. China has faced an increasing number of people contracting STDs, with the growing eastern province of Zhejiang recording some 1,859 sexually transmitted infections by the end of last year.
According to a report in the Beijing News, “Condoms or condom-vending machines must be placed in hotels, bars and designated public places, or the managers will be fined 5,000 yuan ($650).”
Officials are hoping the new rule will help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, which until recently, was considered a problem only affecting the gay community, sex workers and intravenous drug users. But, as the disease has rapidly moved into the general population, Chinese authorities are finally upping the ante in educating the public about safe-sex practices.