Authorities in the Chinese capital have asked all hotel owners to provide condoms in every room by the end of 2008 to counter new cases of HIV/AIDS.
In the first 10 months of this year, the capital has registered 973 new cases of HIV/AIDS, up by 54 percent from the previous year.
The Municipal Health Bureau here has been pushing the city's 700 hotels to provide condoms in every guest room, but so far only 133 hotels with 15,907 guest rooms have supplied condoms, according to official data.
However, hotels in the capital are not required to supply condoms to their guests for free. The decision on how much to charge was up to the hotels, a health official said.
A source with Beijing's St Regis Hotel said they had already made condoms available in every room but they were not free.
Ye Binshan, an official with the hotel chain Home Inn, said they were yet to provide condoms in every room, but do sell condoms in their hotels.
"The government will receive all help from us in the AIDS prevention efforts," he said.
According to government data, till October this year Beijing had registered 4,663 HIV/AIDS cases since 1985, of which 171 were foreigners, 964 locals and 3,524 from other regions in China.
The Regulation on AIDS Prevention and Control, issued by the State Council in January last year, urges all public places designated by provincial or municipal governments should provide condoms or condom vending machines.