Cool idea: Condoms to detect STDs


Cool idea: Condoms to detect STDs

Three British teenagers find a new way to make sex safer. And more awkward

By Deepa Menon  June 25th, 2015

Random hook-ups can be depressing enough without the added thrill of herpes. But you can’t go around asking prospective lovers for a note from the doctor, either. Three bright young students might have innovated a way out of the impasse.

Winner of the award in the health category of the British TeenTech Awards for 2015, the S.T.Eye is an idea for condoms that will change colour if they detect STDs. The innovators are Daanyaal Ali, Muaz Nawaz and Chirag Shah, all between 13 and 14 years of age. Ali said to the press, “We wanted to make something that makes detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the invasive procedures at the doctors.”

The condoms—if and when they finally hit the shelves—will contain molecules that are reactive to certain bacteria and viruses, and turn green (chlamydia), yellow (herpes), purple (human papillomavirus) or blue (syphilis). It’s like a colour-coded deal-breaker.

The three young ‘uns have won 1000 pounds and a trip to the Buckingham Palace to meet Prince Andrew. And, in a few years’ time, a smooth segue to sex on any date. ‘Did I mention I invented a smart condom in high school? Got my photo in the papers, won a bunch of cash, visited the Buckingham Palace, NBD. Anyway, want to go inside and get our science on?’

Photographs: Creative Commons/Tomizak, Mike Bitzenhofer