Bill Gates: New super-thin condom soon

2014-09-18 21:21


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Delhi - Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said Thursday progress is being made on developing a "next-generation" ultra-thin, skin-like condom that could offer better sexual pleasure, help population control and be financed by first-world investors.

Last year, the Microsoft co-founder and one of the world's richest men offered inventors $100 000 in start-up grants to develop a "next-generation" of super-sheath condoms through the charitable Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health.

It looks like "there are some technological materials that will be able to maintain a [condom] barrier with a very thin, thin material", Gates said in New Delhi.

Gates, who was speaking at a question-and-answer session with his wife Melinda, said the foundation had received a lot of proposals from inventors.

The Seattle-based foundation has given one grant of $100 000 to the University of Manchester to research a condom using a super-light conducive material known as graphene.

Another $100 000 grant has gone to the University of Oregon for a proposal to create a polyurethane condom that would create a seal around the penis and be less than half the thickness of the best condoms available now.

The foundation's "Grand Challenges" are aimed at improving the lives of the world's poorest people.

Scientists say they want to achieve a new super-strength thin membrane for a condom to achieve what they call a "barely-there" feel. Men often say they are reluctant to use condoms because they decrease sexual pleasure.

The aim would be to encourage more couples to use condoms, preventing pregnancy and helping avert spread of sexually transmitted viruses such as HIV.

The foundation has said it could provide further funding of up to $1m to develop a new condom that would "enhance the pleasure so as to increase uptake".

Gates has said first-world investors have little interest in developing medicines to combat such illnesses as malaria and tuberculosis as they are not prevalent in wealthy countries.

However, "there could be a market for this [thin condom] among well-off nations, which doesn't happen with a lot of innovations," he said.

Read more on:    bill gates  |  health

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.