Condoms are already cheap and effective, however, they’re still far from perfect. Some are allergic to latex or simply dislike it, and they don’t really come with any extra features, until now.
Mahua Choudhury, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Texas A&M University, has developed a revolutionary new condom. Like any good condom, it’ll help prevent unplanned pregnancy and the spread of STDs, but this rubber-free condom is special; it’s made from a hydrogel, a strong, water-based, elastic polymer that’s already used in contact lenses, and infused with plant-based antioxidants called flavonoids. The compounds have anti-HIV properties, so if the condom breaks the flavonoids are released, preventing the virus from replicating.
“If we succeed, it will revolutionize the HIV prevention initiative,” Choudhury told the Daily Mail. “We are not only making a novel material for condoms to prevent the HIV infection, but we are also aiming to eradicate this infection if possible.”
Last year there were around 36.9 million people living with HIV, and about 2 million new infections.
And there’s more: This antioxidant also has pleasure-enhancing properties, making the whole thing more fun for both of you by increasing blood flow, promoting the relaxation of smooth muscle, and keeping nitric oxide levels high, which helps to stimulate and maintain an erection.
“If you can make it really affordable, and really appealing, it could be a life-saving thing,” Choudhury said in a press release.
The condom needs about six months’ testing before it’s market-ready, Chowdhury says. If all goes as planned, these condoms will be old news this time next year.