BEIJING (AP) -- China's Health Ministry has told all hotels and public bathing facilities to provide condoms as part of a campaign to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS, a state-run newspaper reported on Friday.
The regulation said condoms should be provided, or machines selling them made available and materials supplied on AIDS prevention, the Beijing News reported.
HIV gained a foothold in China largely due to tainted blood transfusions in hospitals and schemes to buy blood plasma, where it was collected using unsanitary means.
After years of denying that AIDS was a problem, Chinese leaders have shifted gears dramatically in recent years, confronting the disease more openly and promising anonymous testing, free treatment for the poor and a ban on discrimination against people with the virus.
There are an estimated 650,000 people living with HIV in China, according to the most recent government statistics from 2005.
The Beijing News said the new regulation was also issued by the Commerce Ministry.