Sexually transmitted infection– it’s a sensitive topic that many people find difficult to discuss, but a group of teenage boys think they may have found an eye-catching solution.
The so-called “S.T.EYE” condom is a conceptual design that changes color when it comes into contact with an STI such as chlamydia or syphilis.
The idea is the brainchild of Muaz Nawaz, 13, Daanyaal Ali, 14, and Chirag Shah, 14, who attend the Isaac Newton Academy in east London.
The team got the idea to create S.T.EYE when they found out what a big problem STIs were in the United Kingdom. “This kind of inspired us to make a condom, as it could save hundreds of thousands of lives,”
he condom could, in theory, detect an infection both in the wearer and his partner. “People find it embarrassing to go to the clinic so this makes sure that their privacy is maintained,” although they would still have to go to the clinic for treatment, Ali said.
Once in contact with an STI, antibodies in the condom would recognize the virus or bacteria and cause the condom to change color. The exact shade would depend on the STI, because reaction times vary. The condom could also have an intermediate layer that includes reactants to test for syphilis, chlamydia, herpes and genital warts.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 million people acquire a sexually transmitted infection every day. The National Health Service in the United Kingdom says chlamydia is the most common STI and is easily passed on during sex.
The idea won an award in the future of health category at the TeenTech Awards, which encourage teenagers to explore science, engineering and technology. The boys won £1,000 ($1,568) and have been invited to Buckingham Palace along with the other category winners by the awards’ patron, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. read more