Microsoft inventor Bill Gates announced that the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation will award $100,000 for anyone who is able to come up with a next generation condom.
The task has been placed through the Grand Challenges in Global Health Program with the main aim of improving the uptake and regular use of condoms. While male condoms are inexpensive, easy to use and the safest among available contraceptives, many people do not use them due to a male perception of decreased pleasure.
The foundation hopes that the 'Next Generation' condom will be able to not only improve the regular use of the condoms, but also to enhance the pleasure. If such a condom can be developed, then researchers believe that there could be a huge reduction in unwanted/unplanned pregnancies, HIV transmission, and other STIs.
"We are looking for a Next Generation Condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use. Additional concepts that might increase uptake include attributes that increase ease-of-use for male and female condoms, for example better packaging or designs that are easier to properly apply. In addition, attributes that address and overcome cultural barriers are also desired", a statement from the Grand Challenges in Global Health said.