STD Detecting Condoms: Myth or Reality?

condom detection

There are a variety of different reasons to wear a condom when engaging in sexual intercourse, and one of the most important is to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease (STD).

The only way to truly avoid an STD or an unwanted pregnancy is to abstain completely, but let’s be honest: it’s going to be impossible to get everyone on board with that idea.

Over the years, condoms have become sleeker and more comfortable, but what if they could let you know that you were having sex with someone who has an STD? How amazing would that be?

A story broke last year about a group of teens who had apparently invented a condom that was used for protection, but which could also alert you to being in contact with an STD. You are probably wondering how something like that would work, and the simple answer is that the condom would change color whenever it “sensed” there was an STD present.

When the story was published, there was some real excitement about the possibilities of such an invention, and how it could singlehandedly revolutionize the condom industry. It would also be a huge help in preventing the spread of STDs, essentially making sex safer.

We were all so excited about the possibility of such an invention that few of us stopped to question how it was even possible. We can almost bet that there were guys making a beeline to their local pharmacy to see if the chameleon condoms were already in stock.

As is the case with many internet stories, this one is not entirely based in fact. Yes, the idea of a condom that does what we discussed has been floated, but it’s not something we can expect to see anytime soon.

Usually when an announcement of this magnitude is made, there is research to back up the claims, as well as a working prototype to show off to the masses. How that unveiling would go is one that we would really like to see.

None of the above exists, and even if it did, the condom would have to go through all sorts of approval processes, including being approved by the FDA, before it could ever see the light of day in your local pharmacy.

teen tech awards

Teen Tech Awards 2015

The true part of the story is that a group of teens at the Isaac Newton Academy in London, England did in fact come up with the STD detecting condom idea. They ended up winning a prize for the contest that they entered the idea into, and they do hope to have a working prototype sometime soon.

While it’s certainly a little disappointing that this product doesn’t yet exist, it is exciting that the idea is now out there.

We can assume that all the major players in the condom industry will have latched onto this idea, and will now be looking to make it happen. It’s only a matter of time before a headline about a color changing, STD-detecting condom is in fact true.

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