Condoms already come in many different sizes, colours, textures, and flavours, but these might actually save you a few trips to the doctor. A few years ago, three British teenagers conceptualised condoms that detect STDs, and it could be a huge gamechanger.
Imagine getting it on with that one sexy someone — with a condom, of course, cause you’re responsible like that — and seeing it change colour after they put it on. Sure, it’s pretty embarrassing, and will likely end your night of passion right there and then (even condoms are meant to protect you and your partner from contaminating each other, few things cockblock more than an STD diagnosis), but at least it’ll make you aware of what you or your partner are carrying so you can take action.
“We created the S.T.EYE as a new way for STI detection to help the future of the next generation,” Daanyaal Ali said in a press release. “We wanted to make something that made detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the often-scary procedures at the doctors. We’ve made sure we’re able to give peace of mind to users and let people act even more responsibly than ever before.”
Ali and his fellow students Musaz Nawaz and Chirag Shah from London’s Isaac Newton Academy won the top award in TeenTech Awards’ Health Category, a contest for students to come up with technology that makes life “better, simpler, or easier.” They won a prize of around US$1,500 and a trip to meet Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace.
“We knew that STIs were a huge problem in the U.K.,” Ali told The Washington Post. “We saw a gap in the market and we wanted to help people feel safer.”
Condoms that detect STDs: How do they work?
The condoms will have a layer of molecules that react to bacteria and viruses related to common STDs, such as herpes, chlamydia, and syphilis.
These colour-coded condoms are still a concept, and haven’t been actualised. However, they’ve reportedly gotten interest from some condom companies.
And as with almost anything sex-related, there are several questions the students need to work out, such as whether or not the condom reacts to both partners or just one. And will people want to use condoms less to avoid the risk of being “exposed”? Shah also acknowledged that many people would prefer not to know they have herpes, as it’s incurable.
Sex is all kinds of complicated, so it might take some more time before we see these colour-changing condoms at our local drug stores. Until then, remember to get tested regularly if you’re sexually active and use appropriate protection every time you have sex.
Stay safe, guys and gals.
What do you think of these condoms that detect STDs? Would you use them?
(Featured image: Shutterstock)