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The Search for the Next Generation Condom

By HERWriter
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 searching for the condom for the next generation Auremar/PhotoSpin

They’re cheap, easy to make, prevent unplanned pregnancy and protect against a range of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including AIDS, wrote NBCNews.com. What is this great product? We’re talking about condoms.

But getting people to use them can be a challenge across the globe. So why hasn’t someone designed a condom that more people want to use?

Bill Gates wants to facilitate just that. ABCNews.com reported that Gates will give a $100,000 grant to whoever can invent the next generation condom through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health.

"We are looking for a Next Generation Condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use," wrote GrandChallenges.org. The Foundation also would like the new condom to increase ease-of-use for male and female condoms and overcome cultural barriers.

The statistics are deadly serious. CNN.com stated that 34 million people in the world are living with HIV, according the 2012 UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report. About half of them don't know they're infected, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

CNN.com added that while researchers say condoms are one of the best ways to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS, their use isn’t as widespread as it should be.

The Gates Foundation says that a lot of men perceive condoms as interfering with sexual pleasure and won't use them consistently, said NPR.org.

In some places and cultures, condom use is often seen as a sign a man has AIDS, and many women won't sleep with such men, continued CNN.com. Female condoms can be even more difficult to use and women are often afraid to suggest using them.

The goal behind the next generation condom grant is to develop a product without this stigma, in addition to enhancing sexual pleasure. NBCNews.com wrote that the Gates Foundation hopes such a product will bring about substantial benefits in global health, both in terms of reducing unplanned pregnancy and preventing infection with HIV or other STIs.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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