AIDS control law gets amendment


Sat, Jan 15, 2005 - Page 3

The legislature passed an amendment to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Control Act (後天免疫缺乏症候群防治條例) yesterday which requires hotels and saunas to provide clients with condoms.

If hotel and sauna proprietors fail to provide condoms, they may be fined up to NT$150,000.

"The proprietors can decide to provide condoms using a vending machine, put the condoms in the room, or provide them at the counter upon request. The proprietors can also decide whether they want to give the condoms away free of charge or at cost," Department of Health Director Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said.

The amendment also allows foreigners, Chinese and people from Hong Kong and Macau with AIDS to apply for short stays in Taiwan, but the maximum is one application every three months for a 14-day stay.

If a foreigner acquires AIDS in Taiwan from his or her spouse, the authorities may not reject his or her application for a visa or residence permit.

Meanwhile, the legislature also passed an amendment regarding compulsory automobile liability insurance, which reduces the fines for those who have not insured their cars or motorcycles.

According to the amendment, car owners who have not paid the insurance can be fined from NT$3,000 to NT$15,000, while scooter owners can be fined from NT$1,500 to NT$3,000.

An insurance company must inform a vehicle owner 30 days before their insurance expires, and unless the owner violates certain regulations, the insurance contract cannot be rescinded.

When a victim dies in a car accident, the victim's family can ask the insurance company or Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation Fund for compensation, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

The compensation should go first to parents, then children and spouses, then grandparents, grandchildren and finally siblings.

The legislature also approved the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) created by the World Health Organization, despite the fact Taiwan is not yet a member of the organization.

The FCTC stipulates tighter controls on tobacco by raising public awareness of tobacco control issues, restricting or banning tobacco advertising, and demanding printing of warning signs on tobacco packages.