The opening of a Chinese gay bar designed to tackle HIV infections has been delayed.

The state-funded bar, in the city of Dali, was due to open on Tuesday, which was World AIDS Day.

However, widespread media attention meant that volunteers decided to postpone the opening. They were reportedly scared that their identities would be revealed.

Dali, in the southwestern Yunnan province, is one of the ten Chinese cities most affected by HIV and sex between men is thought to account for one third of transmissions.

Zhang Jianbo, founder of the Dali HIV/AIDS prevention and health association which set up the bar, told AFP: “If we open a place for an underground group, and if news is published about our target group and our volunteers in this way, it will influence their lives.”

He added that the volunteers, who are also gay, had decided to wait until the attention died down.

When it opens, the bar will offer sex advice and distribute free condoms to visitors.