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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 tayb on 3/25/2013 4:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
You can twist the words faith and belief to fit into nearly anything. Generally speaking a faith is a belief in something without evidence. Belief is merely something you accept to be true. With this definition in mind your entire post is pure nonsense.

When you sit in a chair, do you first check to make sure it is sound? Unless you're neurotic (which is fine, mind you), you just sit down, strong in your faith that it will hold you.

No, I hope the chair will hold me. Why would I have faith that it will hold me? I have no evidence to support such a belief.

When you drive your car, you have faith that most of the people on the road around you know how to drive and are paying attention. If you didn't, you'd hardly be able to drive to work.

No, I hope they won't hit me. Again, I have no evidence to believe anyone else on the road even has a drivers license.

Faith is real and you have it.

Faith can only exist by believing in things that cannot be proven. If you adhere to a far more liberal definition faith can include strong beliefs a high level of confidence. With this definition in mind anyone can have 'faith' in anything. The definition is far too broad to be useful.

Interestingly (or not), lack of faith in God is, by default, fanatic faith in oneself. Atheists have faith that their fundamental understanding of the universe is absolutely correct and that faith says that God can't exist.

A lack of faith in something does not constitute an affirmative faith in something else or the opposite. If I don't believe spider man is real that does not mean I have faith that spider man is not real. Why? Because I cannot prove that spider man does not exist. I wouldn't even try because the burden of proof does not rest on me. I believe spider man is not real and if you believe otherwise it is your job to present evidence.

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