By MELISSA WELLHAM
Condoms haven’t really changed much in the last, oh, forever.
Sure, now they come in a variety of flavours, colours and textures (vibrating, anyone?) but the basic principle of rubbery-sperm-stopping-ness remains the same.
Condoms are used by millions of people across the world (750 million people, in fact) and it’s a pretty unconcious, run of the mill thing for most of us here in the comfort of the first world.
But in the third? It’s not just about a fear of chlamydia or herpes (although, that’s serious enough in and of itself). No. In the third world, where HIV rates can be as high as 20 per cent – this is a matter of life and death. Encouraging people to wear and use condoms is absolutely critical.
And given that the usage rate just isn’t going up the way we’d like it to be, one man has decided it’s time for a redesign.
Enter: the saviour of sex for this generation. The lord of lovemaking. The messiah who is committed to increasing male pleasure. (And decreasing HIV, so all credit to him).
The founder of Microsoft (very big and profitable company, perhaps you’ve heard of them?) is offering up $100,000 of initial funding, followed by the opportunity to earn $1 million of continued funding, to the individual who can pitch him an idea for “the next generation of condoms”.
Condoms 2.0, if you will.
It’s a whole lot more exciting (and lucrative) than your grade 6 ‘build a volcano’ competition, that’s for sure.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – a philanthropic organisation dedicated to enhancing healthcare and reducing extreme poverty worldwide – are concerned by the rapidly rising rates of sexually transmitted infections, and have decided to tackle the problem head-on.