Gates Foundation funds female condoms and Trojan cows

Published: June 3, 2014

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced funding for 55 projects that tackle key global health and development problems through its Grand Challenges Explorations Initiative — several of which are attempting to reinvent the condom.

The challenge to create the next generation of condoms was issued by the Initiative in March 2013, with the aim of making them more pleasurable to use in order to incentivise men to wear them more frequently. The Foundation is providing financial support in the form of grants for eleven such proposed condom designs that could potentially improve sexual sensation and other aspects of the experience.

Several of the condom proposals focus on changing the materials or surface texture of existing condoms, with several suggestions of finding a way to make it more closely mimic human skin, the use of soft, pliant silicone and the use of polyester, which would be not only be a thinner, but more eco-friendly option.

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