Three British schoolchildren won the TeenTech Young Innovator Award for the idea of creating condoms that can change color depending on which sexually transmitted infection (STI) they have to deal with. Two young people – Daanyaal Ali and Chirag Shah – have reached the age of 14, their younger colleague in the competition, Muaz Nawaz, is a year younger. A British contraceptive company is already working on the idea. Technically, the idea of schoolchildren is to cover condoms with a special compound containing antibodies during the production phase that can react to various bacteria that are present in a person with a sexually transmitted disease. Depending on which antibodies have reacted, the latex of the condom will be colored in one color or another. On it and it will be possible to conduct an immediate “diagnosis” of the disease, which, unfortunately, had to meet. The range of colors will be something like this: chlamydia will stain latex green, the presence of genital warts will be judged by the purple color, syphilis will stain the condom blue, and finally herpes will yellow.
Interestingly, the conceptual idea of a color-changing condom among schoolchildren was inspired by a post on Reddit in the style of “20 Things To Be Invented,” which also talked about changing condom colors, but solely as a curious feature. The young people decided to add some usefulness to the idea by discussing it with their school teacher, who fully approved of it. An additional factor was the fact that 450,000 sexually transmitted infections are diagnosed annually in the UK.
As a prize from the organizers of the Teentech competition, three friends received a cash prize of £ 1,000 and an excursion to Buckingham Palace.
BBC reporters, who drew attention to the news, consulted with a doctor who treats HIV at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. Dr. Mark Lawton acknowledged that the idea is in principle feasible, since there are already a number of medical tests, indicators in which change color – this is the basis of the method of home diagnosis of HIV. In this case, you just need to make sure that the chemicals on the color-changing condom are not harmful.