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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Free condoms for college students

Free condoms are to be made available to local university students for the first time, the city's family planning service said Friday.

Vending machines will also be put up in dormitory buildings, officials said.

The free condoms will be placed in dormitory buildings, restrooms and laundries, where students can help themselves.

They will also be available at university medical centres.

Tang Wenjuan, an official with the Shanghai Health Bureau, said they decided to offer free condoms to meet students' needs and promote the concept of safe sex.

Outdoor vending machines on campus will be moved into dormitory buildings to provide an alternative.

"The condoms bought from vending machines are of a better quality than the free ones, and students can choose themselves," said Tang.

Tang also said that vending machines they had placed on streets had been all moved to improve the city's appearance.

Over the past 10 years, the city had put up nearly 3,000 vending machines on the street selling condoms for 1 yuan (45sen) each.

But many of the machines are broken and covered with rust, and not many people use them. Each machine on average sells one condom a day, Tang said.

Instead, the health bureau has now decided to put up about 800 vending machines inside some hotels and entertainment venues.

Any machines still on the street belonged to private companies and the local authorities could not repair or remove them.

Local residents can get free condoms at more than 9,000 sites across the city, including their residential buildings, officials said.

Neighborhood committees also hand out free condoms.

Some 3,638 sites providing free condoms in suburban areas have also been set up, mainly to serve migrant workers.
Source: Shanghai Daily

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