Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

China discovers the condom

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BEIJING -- The first time Beijing college freshman Guo Si laid hands on a condom was a month before her 20th birthday when she rolled one over a banana during a "companion education" class.

Guo, who moved to Beijing from neighbouring Hebei province in 2012, said she had never before had sex education at school.

That's not uncommon in China. Now, an escalation of HIV, syphilis, genital herpes and other sexually transmitted infections is spurring demand for knowledge and condoms in a country where intrauterine devices and sterilization are the mainstays of birth control. Colleges such as Tsinghua University are holding classes and dispensing free rubbers in vending machines. That's expanding a market forecast by researcher Global Industry Analysts Inc. to increase nine per cent annually to reach $1 billion by 2018.

-- Washington Post-Bloomberg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 6, 2013 D7

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