Written by Carlius Williams, Staff Writer
Three British teens have proposed an idea for a new type of condom that could detect sexually transmitted diseases. The proposal won the trio a prize in the U.K.
The teens, 13-year-old Muaz Nawaz, and 14-year-old Daanyaal Ali and Chirag Shah, said that the idea came to them after discovering how big of a problem STIs were in the United Kingdom. According to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK, and it is easily passed on during sex. And according to the World Health Organization, more than one million people acquire an STI every day, so the idea of a condom that helps people detect sexually transmitted diseases and infections is quite an innovative creation.
The so-called “S.T.EYE” condom is a conceptual design that changes color when it comes into contact with an STI such as chlamydia or syphilis. Once in contact with the disease, antibodies in the condom would recognize the virus or bacteria and cause the condom to change color. The exact shade would depend on the STI, because reaction times vary.
However, the condoms are not without their flaws. One flaw could be whether the condom can detect STIs in the user as well as the partner, or even what would happen if the condom detects multiple diseases at once. Another issue could be the logistical difficulties of figuring out a way to determine the colors that would determine each disease.
The condoms are still at the concept stage, but the developers have been approached by several condom companies who believe that they can make these teens’ idea a reality.