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Ghost house set up to give twist to HIV/AIDS prevention

2012/08/18 14:07:57

Taipei, Aug. 18 (CNA) The Taiwan AIDS Foundation on Saturday introduced a haunted house to mark the annual ghost month on the lunar calendar, hoping to incorporate more fun into HIV/AIDS prevention education.

"We hope to teach people through games instead of textbooks," Dawn Huang, a foundation official, said in a telephone interview.

Introducing the rules of the activity, Huang said participants entering the ghost house need to have three keys at hand in order to get past gatekeepers -- condoms, lubricants and fingerdoms, or rubbers for fingers.

The official, however, refused to go into the details for fear of spoiling the fun.

Aimed at helping people understand the HIV/AIDS transmission route through real-world situations, she said that participants are urged to ask any questions regarding safe sex.

Huang and her colleagues got the idea of setting up a haunted house last year and did so at their branch office in Hsinchu City in northern Taiwan during the ghost month in 2011.

"The feedback was phenomenal," Huang said, adding that some people even rated the activity as one of the scariest they have seen.

This year's ghost month began on Friday.

Over 400 people are expected to flood into the haunted house in Hsinchu this weekend, the first few days when according to traditional Chinese belief, the Gate of Hades opens to allow spirits into the world of the living for a month of feasting.

The entrance fee is NT$150 (US$5) and the proceedings will be used on future HIV/AIDS prevention programs.

(By Nancy Liu)