Three school boys in London have come up with an idea that will see condoms change colours if they come into contact with an STI. This is a great idea, although still to be tested to see if it could actually work.
The boys came up with the winning idea for the TeenTech awards in the healthcare section. They were concerned about the number of new diagnosis of STIs each year, and want the condom surface to react if it detects an STI. They are now working on a prototype, and the idea has caught the interest of one of the big contraception companies.
Currently, most instant tests need an additional chemical to be added to a sample to run the test. So the science to provide a change of colour if an STI is found exists. However how this will work with a condom is still being investigated. If these are in a condom they need to be safe to use in the human body, and not damage the condom. There also needs to be a way to check to see which partner has the infection.
Further studies also need to be done on whether people would want to use a condom which might tell them they had an STI just after intercourse. If people are scared of being found out then they will not use the condom, but it might encourage more people to get tested.