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Big Daddy Gates Bankrolling Development of Next-generation Condom

from International Business Times

A Brief History Of The Condom, From Tortoise Shells To Bill Gates


image courtesy of New Scientist

Bill Gates has already put some of his money toward building a better toilet, and now he’s turning his attention to another kind of bodily function. The Microsoft billionaire is putting up money through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in hopes of spurring enterprising inventors to make a better condom.

Though condoms are cheap to make and fairly reliable both for contraception and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, many men do not use them due to a perceived trade-off between protection and pleasure.

“Is it possible to develop a product without this stigma, or better, one that is felt to enhance pleasure?” the Gates-backed organization Grand Challenges asks. “If so, would such a product lead to substantial benefits for global health, both in terms of reducing the incidence of unplanned pregnancies and in prevention of infection with HIV or other STIs?”

Until May 7, Grand Challenges is accepting proposals for next-generation condoms. For winners of an initial $100,000 grant, there’s the possibility for an additional $1 million in funding later on.

“Condoms have been in use for about 400 years yet they have undergone very little technological improvement in the past 50 years,” Grand Challenges says.

Actually, the history of the condom may go back even further than four centuries.

[ click to continue reading at IBT ]

Posted on April 2, 2013 by Editor

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