PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) _ AIDS prevention kits containing condoms, bleach to sterilize needles and safe-sex guides are being given to women who request them upon release from the San Mateo County jail, officials said.

''It's sort of a goodbye and good luck kind of thing,'' said Ed Hilton, coordinator of the San Mateo County AIDS Project, which also conducts seminars at the Women's Correctional Facility on preventing the fatal disease.

''It's only effective if it's part of an entire education program,'' he said.

Because of legal and liability questions, condoms aren't issued to incarcerated inmates.

About 60 of the kits have been given out since the program began May 1, Cancilla said. An average of 100 inmates are housed at the women's facility.

Guards are targeting inmates serving time on drug or prostitution charges, according to Hilton. The kits also contain instructions on using the bleach to sterilize hypodermic needles, which can spread the AIDS virus if shared with someone who is infected.

Eventually, the kits will be made available at the 400-inmate main jail in Redwood City or the Men's Honor Camp in La Honda, Hilton said.