The importance of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted diseases like HIV is well-established. An Indian-origin professor has recently developed a 'super condom' that can prevent HIV transmission even if it breaks.
Mahua Choudhury is one of the 54 people who were awarded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's "Grand Challenge in Global Health" grant. This year's initiative was to create an affordable, latex-free condom to help battle the HIV epidemic, which is currently affecting 35 million people in the world.
‘The super condom is enmeshed with the antioxidant quercetin in the hydrogel design, which can prevent the replication of HIV and if the condom breaks, the quercetin would be released for additional protection.
She along with her team has developed a latex-free condom that is made up of an elastic polymer called hydrogel with plant-based antioxidants that have anti-HIV properties.
"We are not only making a novel material for condoms to prevent the HIV infection, but we are also aiming to eradicate this infection if possible," said Choudhury, assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center's Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy.
Researchers have enmeshed the antioxidant quercetin in the hydrogel design, which can prevent the replication of HIV and if the condom breaks, the quercetin would be released for additional protection.
"Super condom could help fight against HIV infection and may as well prevent unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases and if we succeed, it will revolutionize the HIV prevention initiative," said Choudhury, the lead researcher.
The antioxidant laced in the hydrogel also boasts stimulant properties that enhance physiological stimulation and feelings of pleasure during sex, the report noted.
Researchers are waiting for its patent approval and the condoms will hit the markets in next six months. These super condoms will be available for everyone including people in rural areas.