Bill Gates funds Australian research to develop a better condom

Most guys hate using condoms, and that's not a good thing when you're trying to prevent unwanted pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS. But what if sex using a condom could actually be more pleasurable than not using one? That's the goal of a team of researchers from the University of Wollongong in Australia.

The team has just been awarded a $100,000 research grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, which had been offered as a part of their Grand Challenges Exploration initiative. Only 52 grants were awarded from over 1,700 applications, so it sounds like they're on to something good.

For the last 80 years, almost all condoms have been made from latex rubber. The Australian team has been experimenting with a new material called tough hydrogel, which they claim acts and feels far more like natural human skin. It's also incredibly tough and hard to tear, all important qualities if you don't want an unfortunate surprise during the peak of your moment of passion.

The goal is to make men actually want to wear condoms during sex, and the Wollongong team believes that sex with a tough hydrogel condom can be more pleasurable than unprotected sex. If they achieve that goal, it could circumvent the excuses many couples use when they go unprotected, which in turn would help to slow the spread of STDs and unwanted pregnancies especially in developing countries.

The tough hydrogel condom is still in the development phase, with no word on when it may actually result in a commercial product. Check out the video below to see members of the Wollongong team describing their research.

University of Wollongong, via Huffington Post

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