A bright yellow condom covered the facade of a 20-story, phallic-shaped hotel in the southern Chinese city of Guilin to mark U.N. World Population Day in the most populous nation on the globe, the hotel manager said Saturday.
"Our hotel is very round," said the manager of the three-star Fragrant River Hotel, who declined to give her name. "The initial plan was to cover the whole building, but because the wind was so strong they could only cover the front half."
The Guilin Latex Company has applied to the publishers of the Guinness Book of World Records to recognize their giant condom, 260 feet tall and nearly 330 feet around, as the world's biggest, the Xinhua news agency said.
The company joined local birth control officials in Guilin Friday to promote contraception, distributing free condoms and brochures to passers-by, it said.
The semi-official China News Service said the condom had cost more than $24,000 to display and carried the message: "Control population growth, pay attention to sexual health, prevent AIDS."
Despite Beijing's strict one-child policy, an attempt to halt ballooning growth of the country's 1.3 billion population, it is only in recent years that the Chinese have felt able to discuss sexual health in public.
International experts and local activists say that more publicity and government leadership was needed to avert an AIDS catastrophe in China. Beijing says that around one million of its people suffer from HIV, the virus that causes the disease.