Three students in the UK, one age 13 and two age 14, have invented a condom that changes color when it detects a sexually-transmitted disease. The condom is still in the design phases, but the plan is for the condom to detect four of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Within 30 seconds to one minute, the condom will turn green if it encounters chlamydia, yellow if herpes is present, purple if there are genital warts and blue if there’s syphilis. The trio plans a future version to also detect gonorrhea and HIV.
The condom will have antigens to the four diseases already attached to the latex. When you add blood or seminal fluid that contains antibodies to a disease, there’s a reaction that results in a color change. The process is modeled after a common HIV testing method called enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, or ELISA.
Innovative Condom Product
The boys have named the product S.T.EYE and they have sexual health experts and a condom manufacturer on their team now helping with the development. They have been overwhelmed by the amount of media attention and the positive reaction and support from the public. The students will attend a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate their invention, which won the health care category of the U.K. TeenTech Awards.
Inspiration for the idea came from reading the statistics about the number of new STD infections in the UK, and the fact that almost a third of the cases occur in people between ages 15 and 24. The students hope that the condom will serve as a way to test for STDs in the privacy of your own home, because many people don’t want to go to a clinic to get tested.
Get An Anonymous STD Test
Until the condom hits the market, the only way to know that you have an STD is to get tested regularly. If you’re concerned about privacy, follow the instructions in our free guide to anonymous STD testing to get a truly anonymous STD test. If you don’t take steps to protect your identity, the health care provider who conducts the test will automatically report your personal information to the state health department, which might even send someone to your home to interview you about your sexual partners. Get tested because each day you delay getting treatment, the disease gets harder to treat and it does more damage to you.