Condom use is critical to decreasing the spread of HIV and STIs on a global scale, yet there have been few developments to improve their functionality in over 50 years – until the search for the Next Generation Condom.
In the name of future public health, the Gates Foundation is offering $1 million for a condom that “significantly preserves or enhances pleasure”. In Stage One, eleven projects won initial grants of US$100,000 to back their frontier-breaking research on rubbers ranging from self-tightening to made from beef.
Old stereotypes say men can’t multitask, but one team of scientists fabricated a condom that can. Made from skin-like super strong hydrogel, it’s self-lubricating, biodegradable and can administer Viagra.
This could spell the end for the latex sheath and the beginning of an increase in contraception use, assisting developing countries with problems that stem from lack of birth control and the spread of STIs. A happy ending indeed.
Bill and Melinda Gates, CEOs, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation