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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Ad ban needs review

(China Daily)

15:22, December 06, 2011

Here is a little thought-provoking riddle: What is legally sold and used throughout the country, yet never advertised?

The answer, of course, is condoms.

More than 2 billion condoms are sold in China every year, one fifth of the world's total. But you will not find any advertisements or commercials for condoms in the mainstream Chinese media.

The rationality of this is questionable now that the use of condoms needs to be forcefully promoted in China as an effective way to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Half of the country's HIV infections are transmitted through unsafe sex.

The obstacles preventing the public promotion of condom use are a regulation issued by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in 1989 that bans the advertising of sex products and the Advertising Law, which came into effect on Feb 1, 1995 and prohibits advertising anything that might "jeopardize social customs and violate good social conventions".

The health authorities have attached great importance to promoting the use of condoms, and both the Regulations on AIDS Prevention and Control and the Mid- and Long-Term Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control issued by the State Council actively promote condom use.

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