Free condoms in all guest rooms will be provided by every hotel in Ho Chi Minh City in an attempt to reduce the spread of HIV in Vietnam’s largest city.
The “100% condom programme”, recommended by the Ho Chi Minh City Aids Prevention Committee, will be launched following a pilot scheme backed by the local culture, sports and tourism department.
The distribution of condoms under the pilot scheme was reportedly a source of concern for hotel owners in socially conservative Vietnam. Hoteliers worried that they could be fined for providing guests with condoms, due to anti-prostitution laws and restrictions on unmarried couples sharing hotel rooms.
Police would only impose fines on hotels related to sex rings or used to conceal prostitution, Le Van Quy, deputy chief of the Ho Chi Minh City Social Evils Prevention Department said, according to a report by VietnamNet Bridge.
The report said that Mr Quy added the HCMC Aids Prevention Committee has confirmed that the purpose of the programme is to provide condoms to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases “rather than encouraging social evils”.
Similar programmes have reportedly been successful in reducing the transmission of HIV in other provinces of Vietnam, including An Giang and Can Tho.