Students were given free condoms yesterday in the first handout of contraceptives at universities, but some said they would simply throw them away. Demonstrations of how to use male and female condoms were held at the Polytechnic University in a four-day event organised by the Hong Kong AIDS Foundation to coincide with yesterday's World AIDS Day. 'If they can bring in a few popular showbiz stars to talk to students on the subject, it may at least have drawn a bigger crowd,' said Calvin Lo, a fourth-year nursing student. 'Overall, today's programme is OK and has given us the opportunity to know more about it.' But his friend, Claren Chau, said the event was replaying an old tune. 'It is basically the same thing as urging people to speak out in public. But I wonder, by simply speaking out, whether we will have a better understanding of the issue.' He said shyness was part of Chinese culture, and it would be wrong to attempt to impose Western values on safe sex. But there was still quite a gathering of curious students for the condom demonstration and distribution. Some, especially the young women, blushed and giggled throughout the 10-minute show. 'I'm going to dump the condom in the bin once I've taken a look at it,' said one third-year student. 'I won't take it home because I'm afraid my mum would go ballistic if she saw it.' Sarah Lau, a third-year textiles student, said: 'Although I do feel slightly embarrassed looking at the demonstration, it never crossed my mind it was bad taste.' Event co-organiser Dr Cloey Chan Siu-ling, medical officer at the Polytechnic University Health Science Department, was satisfied with the turnout to the afternoon lecture session. 'Each student may have their own questions and uncertainties and the event is only a starting point, making them realise that there is a channel for them to air those things and get the answers,' she said. Graham Smith, senior education officer with AIDS Concern, said it was vital that young adults knew how to use condoms in order to help protect themselves from HIV. 'Even if they are not sexually active at the moment, most of them will be as they get older,' he said. 'If they are shown demonstrations on how to use condoms properly it means they will know how to take precautions in the future.'