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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 LordSojar on 3/26/2013 3:01:29 AM , Rating: 1
it's called population control. Making contraceptives available reduces crime rates, reduces homicide rates, reduces poverty rates and reduces the number of people on welfare/government assistance programs, as it essentially is a form of sterilizing the poor. I know that sounds harsh, but it's the truth, plain and simple.

So, all this moral talk, totally irrelevant. No one cares what your moral standings are, since their based on some book that's thousands of years old and outdated by modernity. So, that argument is removed by virtue of science, evolving moral systems and logic.

Next! The cost argument. Fine, it does in fact cost more in the short term to make contraceptives available to the public for free. There is no denying that. However... long term savings after 14-20 years are inconceivable. We saw the largest crime rate drop in the history of the recorded world 16-21 years after Roe VS Wade was decided by the Supreme Court. Why you ask? Simple! Those children were not born into a continued cycle of poverty and necessitated crime, and as a result of them not being born into that culture, they and those around them didn't develop into sustenance criminals; crime rate goes down, as does the rate of lethal and non lethal violence, due to the impoverished ideologue of banding together, aka gangs.

What's hysterical about this entire situation is the fact that most people can't see past their own nose, much less 4+ years into the future, let alone 14+. So here we debate things that are really so abhorrently simple, and why? So we can save a few million dollars of taxpayer money that will end up equating to trillions? Yes, that's intelligence defined right there. /sarcasm

Oh, and healthcare isn't a right, but under a capitalist system, a healthy and happy bourgeoisie is a necessity. For being capitalists, you certainly don't understand the backbone of the system you so heavily espouse to be god's gift onto mankind do you? Pity that once the poor are so destitute they die off that no one will be there to clean the toilets of the rich... either that, or it will be the French Revolution 2.0. Either way, when you mix a system based entirely around the concept of pure, unadulterated greed at the expense of basic humanity and compassion for others and a democratic system of voting... you get odd results. The US was founded on a higher moral system than what exists today, and the real tragedy is that while society is to blame as a whole for degrading to the point it has, it's really those who hold such a corrupt and immoral system to such high regard that are to blame for the toxic effect the poison of greed has had on our culture. Shamey shame.

RE: How about you start by...
By tjacoby on 3/28/2013 9:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
So funny reading your response, you refer to the aborted cysts as children! So funny... I see your irony. You are just a grown up cyst who could potentially commit a heinous crime one day. Should someone take the same liberties with you?

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