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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 ppardee on 3/25/2013 4:19:48 PM , Rating: 3
The right to life means that the government doesn't have a right to take your life and it has a duty to protect you from someone else who is trying to take your life, but it is not guaranteeing you won't lose your life. People who say health care is a right ignore the fact that it takes IMMENSE training, time and money to be able to provide health care. You're saying you have a right to someone else's time? You're talking about slavery.

It seems like the message (especially) the left is sending is "respect MY rights, but YOUR rights are forfeit if it makes my life easier."

As a libertarian, this is offensive to me. Your insurance has a right not to cover certain items. Your employer has a right to purchase insurance that doesn't cover certain items. And you have a right to work for a company that purchases insurance that covers the items you want to be covered AND have a right to purchase these items without insurance.

Where are your rights violated in the above scenario? How is your life being endangered?

RE: How about you start by...
By Mint on 3/26/2013 9:15:13 AM , Rating: 2
People who say freedom is a right ignore the fact that it takes IMMENSE training, time and money to be able to provide national defense and policing. You're saying you have a right to someone else's time? You're talking about slavery.


RE: How about you start by...
By Skywalker123 on 3/26/2013 6:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
freedom is constitutionally guaranteed, health care is not, can u understand that concept?

RE: How about you start by...
By ppardee on 3/27/2013 4:15:38 PM , Rating: 2
The difference is that the money that pays for national defense and police comes from the taxes of the people they are contracted to defend AND they are paid for their time while training. THEN we pay them to train in something else later :)

Well, that's not 100% true. The taxes come from HALF the people. The other half get a free ride, which is the biggest problem with national health care. The people who can't afford health care are also the people with the worst health statistically, and they keep popping out chillens because there is no financial incentive not to and we haven't made birth control fun! Maybe they should have Flintstones chewable birth control pills?

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