Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Wednesday, 24 June 2015

STI-Detecting Condoms Exist But Does Anyone Really Want Them?

STI-Detecting Condoms Exist But Does Anyone Really Want Them?

The Debrief: We identified four problems with these glow-in-the-dark condoms...

Condoms. Some people love them, many people hate them, saying that the whole interruption of ‘oh wait a second can I go grab a condom’ in the middle of foreplay kills the mood, and that the tiny layer of latex can take the pleasure away from the whole interaction.

Yet, at present (yes, it’s 2015), they’re the best way to protect against STIs.

And now some smart teenagers have invented condoms that change colour if they come into contact with STIs.

The condoms, given the canny name of S.T.Eye, all contain molecules which then glow when they come into contact with the bacteria and viruses that cause dangerous infections like chlamydia, herpes and syphilis.

The teenage developers of this device: Muaz Nawaz, 13, Chirag Shah, 14, and Daanyaal Ali, 14, have all won a Teen Tech award for their efforts made at Isaac Newton Academy in East London, and will be invited to a reception at Buckinham Palace to get this award. Daanyaal told The Sun: ‘We created the S.T.EYE as a new way for STI detection to help the future of the next generation.

‘We wanted to create something that makes detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before.’

But…well, without entirely pissing on their parade, their aim with this device is to cut STI rates and encourage people to get treatment. And we’re not sure it’s going to work.

Problem #1

Say you’re sleeping with a guy who you really don’t know well enough to have sex with without a condom. You might even be on the pill but you think to yourself ‘hmm, I just don’t know what’s going on there’, so you make sure they’re wearing one of these glowy condoms. Do you hide the fact you trust them so little that you’re giving them a glowy condom? Or do you tell them? Do they maintain a boner at this point at all?

Problem #2

What if the condom begins to glow and you can’t tell who’s got the STI? What if, by sheer luck, you, STI free, keep on sleeping with guys with penises with condom-glowing tendencies? You’ll end up getting tested, like, all the time? But would they? You’d have to always use the glowy condoms every single time you slept with someone new and that takes us back to Problem #1

Problem #3

And besides, if the best way of protecting against STIs is to wear a condom, then why make a condom glow if not to make people feel awkward while they’re actually bothering to use contraception? Like, you’re already using a condom you don’t need it to tell you anything you just need a) the other person to want to use it too and b) it not to split.

Problem #4

Yes, to avoid the shame of having a glowy condom, some people might frantically rush out to get STI tests, but, easier, some might just refuse to use condoms altogether.

The condom is still in the development stage – but we’d suggest right now that it wouldn’t be the worst idea to turn it into a home-testing kit or something, because shaming someone you’re sleeping with into getting STI tests just doesn’t seem viable.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

We Put A Condom On Various Household Items To Find Out How Big Is Too Big?

Here Are (Pretty Much) All The Condoms From History

We Counted All The Condoms On Girls

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Picture: Teen Tech

Tags: Sex, Condom Chat, Health, Contraception