Gates Foundation Offers $100K For Better Condom - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gates Foundation Offers $100K For Better Condom

NBCNEWS.COM - They're cheap, easy to make and they not only prevent pregnancy but protect against a range of infections, including the AIDS virus. But men often don't like to use condoms and women are afraid to ask them to.

So why hasn't someone figured out how to make one that more people would want to use? The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is putting up $100,000 to try to entice someone to try.

"There are few places on earth where condoms are not recognized or not available," the foundation, headed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates, says in a statement.

"The primary drawback from the male perspective is that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom, creating a trade-off that many men find unacceptable, particularly given that the decisions about use must be made just prior to intercourse," it adds.

"Is it possible to develop a product without this stigma, or better, one that is felt to enhance pleasure?  If so, would such a product lead to substantial benefits for global health, both in terms of reducing the incidence of unplanned pregnancies and in prevention of infection with HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?"

The Foundation estimates that 15 billion condoms are made each year, with 750 million users. But the design hasn't changed much from the day when men used lamb intestines to make them. Now, latex is the preferred material.

"We are looking for a Next Generation Condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use. Additional concepts that might increase uptake include attributes that increase ease-of-use for male and female condoms, for example better packaging or designs that are easier to properly apply," the Foundation says in an invitation on its Grand Challenges website.

"In addition, attributes that address and overcome cultural barriers are also desired.  Proposals must (i) have a testable hypothesis, (ii) include an associated plan for how the idea would be tested or validated, and (iii) yield interpretable and unambiguous data in Phase I, in order to be considered for Phase II funding."

That second phase of funding could go up to a million dollars. The Foundation says it will consider applications for new materials, new shapes or designs, or science-based ways to make condoms more enticing to use.

The Foundation's Grand Challenges project was set up to kick-start very early-stage endeavors. It's paid out $450 million to efforts on childhood vaccines, controlling insects that spread disease and other public health challenges.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Convicted Idaho dog killer arrested in Washington

    Convicted Idaho dog killer arrested in Washington

    Thursday, September 20 2018 3:55 AM EDT2018-09-20 07:55:33 GMT

    A man convicted for killing a dog in Kootenai County was arrested by the Okanogan County deputies on Friday. Austin Stephen Matott was released from jail on a $25,000 on Tuesday. He was pulled over for a routine traffic stop a few days beforehand. Matott was wanted in Idaho for skipping his sentencing hearing last month, August 7. He was found guilty of two charges of animal abuse and cruelty. A jury found Matott responsible for killing a corgi-heeler mix named Hank, who was...

    >>

    A man convicted for killing a dog in Kootenai County was arrested by the Okanogan County deputies on Friday. Austin Stephen Matott was released from jail on a $25,000 on Tuesday. He was pulled over for a routine traffic stop a few days beforehand. Matott was wanted in Idaho for skipping his sentencing hearing last month, August 7. He was found guilty of two charges of animal abuse and cruelty. A jury found Matott responsible for killing a corgi-heeler mix named Hank, who was...

    >>
  • Spokane man booked into Kooenai County Jail for 21st time

    Spokane man booked into Kooenai County Jail for 21st time

    Thursday, September 20 2018 1:51 PM EDT2018-09-20 17:51:49 GMT

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office reports a 39-year-old man from Spokane was booked into the Kootenai County Jail for the 21st time on Wednesday. Deputies arrested Anthony K. Thompson for a felony escape from community custody warrant and possession of stolen property.

    >>

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office reports a 39-year-old man from Spokane was booked into the Kootenai County Jail for the 21st time on Wednesday. Deputies arrested Anthony K. Thompson for a felony escape from community custody warrant and possession of stolen property.

    >>
  • Spokane sex trafficking victim gets second chance as shop owner

    Spokane sex trafficking victim gets second chance as shop owner

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 8:42 PM EDT2018-09-19 00:42:17 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - From the outside, the Repeat Boutique looks like a lot of other thrift shops in Spokane.  Inside, some might describe the stuff for sale as old, used, discarded garbage -- but store manager CJ Curtis sees its potential. And just like the goods in her shop, CJ is on her way to a new life, one far from the one she once lived. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - From the outside, the Repeat Boutique looks like a lot of other thrift shops in Spokane.  Inside, some might describe the stuff for sale as old, used, discarded garbage -- but store manager CJ Curtis sees its potential. And just like the goods in her shop, CJ is on her way to a new life, one far from the one she once lived. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Hayden students go viral for patriotic flag photo

    Hayden students go viral for patriotic flag photo

    Thursday, September 20 2018 8:04 PM EDT2018-09-21 00:04:30 GMT

    HAYDEN, Idaho - Old Glory flies triumphantly above Hayden Meadows Elementary. But, every day at the end of school, three keepers of the flag make sure she’s in safe hands. Fifth graders Naylan Tuttle, Jack LeBrick, and Casey Dolan go through the steps necessary to make sure the U.S. flag is properly folded and stored without it ever touching the ground.

    >>

    HAYDEN, Idaho - Old Glory flies triumphantly above Hayden Meadows Elementary. But, every day at the end of school, three keepers of the flag make sure she’s in safe hands. Fifth graders Naylan Tuttle, Jack LeBrick, and Casey Dolan go through the steps necessary to make sure the U.S. flag is properly folded and stored without it ever touching the ground.

    >>
  • Second arrest made in shooting near LA school

    Second arrest made in shooting near LA school

    Thursday, September 20 2018 7:59 PM EDT2018-09-20 23:59:44 GMT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police say a second suspect has been arrested and a gun has been recovered near the scene of a Los Angeles shooting that wounded a high school student and a school employee. Officials say the victims - a teenage boy and a woman - were shot Thursday at a Jack in the Box restaurant across the street from a charter school.   

    >>

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police say a second suspect has been arrested and a gun has been recovered near the scene of a Los Angeles shooting that wounded a high school student and a school employee. Officials say the victims - a teenage boy and a woman - were shot Thursday at a Jack in the Box restaurant across the street from a charter school.   

    >>
  • Reward offered for information on North Monroe vandalism

    Reward offered for information on North Monroe vandalism

    Thursday, September 20 2018 7:52 PM EDT2018-09-20 23:52:26 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Within 24 hours of its completion, a community mural in the North Monroe Business District was vandalized with graffiti. Spokane Police are seeking information related to the tagging of the mural, located on North Monroe Street, just north of W. Cora Ave. Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering a cash reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Within 24 hours of its completion, a community mural in the North Monroe Business District was vandalized with graffiti. Spokane Police are seeking information related to the tagging of the mural, located on North Monroe Street, just north of W. Cora Ave. Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering a cash reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

    >>