Vending machines at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s New Asia College have been cleaned out of complimentary condoms over the past few days.
The student union posted a notice Monday warning that supply of the prophylactics could be limited, because the demand for them is expected to rise in the near term as temperatures sag, Headline Daily reported Thursday.
The news quickly circulated on social media.
Reporters found no condoms remaining in two vending machines at the college, just a few packs of lubricant.
The free condoms are made available to students as part of a joint campaign by the New Asia College student union and AIDS Concern, a charity organization, to promote safe sex.
New Asia College students obtain an estimated 800-1,200 condoms from the vending machines each quarter.
In comments on the news, some netizens said condoms are not obscene and it is only normal that people use them during sex.
Others said it is indeed best to get intimate in cold weather.
The student union said that from experience, the demand for the condoms usually goes up in December, when the weather turns cold.
It said it would require further study to determine whether the relationship is a causal one.
Wong Ching-fung, president of the Student Union of CUHK, said while no statistics on condom demand on campus are available, promoting the use of condoms is not the same as promoting promiscuity.
Commentator Kenneth Wu Sai-kwan said it is only normal that university students engage in sexual activity.
As Hong Kong remains relatively conservative toward sex, Wu said, he hopes the incident will give rise to a discussion of sex education.
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