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Gates looks to get a rise out of the traditional condom industry

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is offering quite a challenge to brilliant minds everywhere: create a condom that men prefer to use over no condom. 

On Gates' "Impatient Optimists" website for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a blog post describes how condoms are effective at preventing the spread of HIV and unintended pregnancy, but most people don't want to use them. Why? Mainly because it hinders the sexual experience. 

The blog post was written by Papa Salif Sow, a senior program officer in HIV Prevention at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Stephen Ward, a program officer for Discovery & Translational Sciences at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

"It may seem obvious, but the success and impact of any public health tool hinges on that tool being used consistently and correctly by those who need it," said the blog post. "Vaccines sitting on shelves don’t prevent disease.  New tuberculosis drug regimens won’t help if patients stop taking them halfway through the necessary days.  Likewise, the potential value of condoms is limited by inconsistent use."

It mentions that many other HIV preventative and contraceptive methods are in development, such as fast-dissolving vaginal films and combination vaginal rings. However, many of these alternatives are years from hitting store shelves either due to development issues, regulatory approval, etc.

We have a perfectly good solution already available: condoms. But Gates feels it is time to give the condom a much-needed update so that they're used more frequently. 

"What if we could develop a condom that would provide all the benefit of our current versions, without the drawbacks?" said the blog post. "Even better, what if we could develop one that was preferred to no condom?"

 The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is challenging scientists, entrepreneurs, etc. to partake in the Next Generation of Condoms, which is part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations. 

Gates' Grand Challenges are always looking for an old idea to redesign and make into a more effective product. For example, last August, Gates awarded prizes to three teams at an event in Seattle, Washington called "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge." Scientists, inventors, designers and students enrolled in the challenge were asked that they create a toilet design that strays from the traditional flush toilet. 

If you've got an idea that will encourage "wrapping" it while making men still want to "tap" it, then submit your ideas to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation here.

Source: Impatient Optimists

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RE: How about you start by...
By Argon18 on 3/25/2013 1:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
Calling something "idiocy" and equating it to "mass murder" isn't hate speech? Even when the argument is false, an outright lie, to begin with? You can go back to sleep now, leave this conversation to the adults please.

RE: How about you start by...
By ebakke on 3/25/2013 1:58:02 PM , Rating: 2
Stating a belief that religion is extremely stupid is no more hateful than your assertion that his belief is garbage. You disagree and you both feel strongly about your opinions. Fine.

I also think the mass murder argument was a stretch, but you didn't even attempt to debate that claim.

And his original argument wasn't a false, outright lie to begin with. In 2009, the Pope said, the AIDS crisis "cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems." And in 2010 he clarified his position to "allow" condom use when it's the "first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality." So, you can use a condom only if it's a gateway to Christianity, where you'll stop the behavior that allowed acceptable condom use because you'll no longer be a sinner. And then you still won't be able to use it for birth control.

RE: How about you start by...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/25/2013 5:06:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yes and I'm sure millions of people in Africa (which has a vast majority of Muslims) said to themselves "well you heard the Pope, time to start spreading AIDS. Put down the condoms!!!"

Seriously are you people hearing yourselves?? We are each responsible for our own choices we make. There's no boogeyman telling you not to wear a rubber, be serious.

I totally agree the Catholic church has some stupid positions on things, and the Pope's have said stupid things. However that hardly excuses people of having personal responsibility! THAT'S why we have things like STD's and the like. Stop shifting blame.

RE: How about you start by...
By ebakke on 3/25/2013 5:17:13 PM , Rating: 2
Did you reply to the wrong post?

RE: How about you start by...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/25/2013 5:18:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, no worries

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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