Condom Fashion Show in China Emphasizes Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Chinese models strutted down the catwalk in an array of bright colors this week in Beijing, but the real emphasis of the fashion show was not on style — it was on safe sex.

Condoms of all shapes and sizes were weaved together to create wedding gowns, evening dresses, bikinis, hats and even lollipops, Reuters reported Thursday.

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China's largest condom manufacturer, Guilin Latex Factory, reportedly held the show at the Fourth China Reproductive Health New Technologies and Products Expo to promote the use of condoms in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

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It also marked World Population Day, organized annually by the UN Population Fund.

China, with a population now of 1.3 billion, introduced a strict one-child policy in the late 1970s under which many residents are restricted to one child.

"One (child) is not enough — two are better," visitor Song Weiliang told Reuters.

But the focus of the condom show was to promote AIDS awareness, Reuters reported.

China originally stigmatized AIDS as a disease of the West, only rampant among gays, sex workers and drug users. Traditionally, none of these officially existed in communist China, according to Reuters.

Health experts have since noted that the virus is moving into the mainstream population. Unwillingness to speak openly about sex and lack of sex education hinder the fight against disease, the agency said.

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