Bill Gates to boost sex lives of millions with condom redesign


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The Independent Online

He's revolutionised polio treatment, personal computers and the toilet - but now former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has a more intimate challenge in his sights: the condom.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a $100,000 prize for whoever designs the "next generation" of prophylactics, with $1 million more available in continued funding to the winner.

Condoms are used by an estimated 750 million people worldwide but the rubber sheath design still suffers from complaints that too much pleasure is sacrificed for safety.

"The primary drawback from the male perspective is that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom", says the Foundation's description of the challenge.

For female condoms the same holds true - with the added problem that they "require proper insertion training and are substantially more expensive than their male counterparts".

Couples that eschew contraceptives altogether are at far greater risk of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.

Ideas for how to make the condom better - and improve the sex lives of close to a billion people - should be sent with substantial proof of concept to the Foundation for review.