Could Condoms Soon Change Colors to Indicate STD Exposure?


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Throughout the years, numerous studies have shown that humans are profoundly impacted by colors and visual stimuli. In fact, color — whether it’s present in architecture, interior design or everyday household items, is responsible for 60% of our emotional responses to places and objects.

But what if colors could instantly tell you whether or not your partner has a sexually transmitted infection or sexually transmitted disease?

Recently, a group of teens from the UK devised a concept that may forever change the way you wrap it up, by creating condoms that change color when they come in contact with an STD.

While condoms have long come in an endless variety of colors, these new condoms would be covered in antibodies that would interact with the antigens of STDs, allowing the condoms to change colors depending on the type of disease. For example, the condom begins to glow green when exposed to chlamydia, yellow for herpes, purple for human papilloma virus and blue for syphilis.

According to the Washington Post, Daanyaal Ali, 14, Muaz Nawaz, 13, and Chirag Shah, 14, cleverly call their concept the S.T. EYE. Their idea won them top honors at the UK TeenTech Awards this week, with each student taking home about $1,500 and a trip to meet Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace. There’s no word yet on whether the three students will present their idea to Queen Elizabeth herself.

“I think the reason the judges put this idea first was because the project showed how much learning these boys had done while researching STDs,” TeenTech chief executive Maggie Philbin said.

For now, the students’ idea for a color-changing STD detector is merely that — an idea. But if these condoms are ever put into production, they’ll be an indispensable aid for helping people stay safe and STD-free more easily.

“We knew that STIs were a huge problem in the UK,” Daanyaal told the Washington Post. “We saw a gap in the market and we wanted to help people feel safer.”

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