Three 14-year-olds in Britain are developing an idea for a condom that would change color when it comes in contact with a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The boys won an award for Best Health Innovation at the recent TeenTech Awards in London.
The three students -- Muaz Nawaz, Daanyaal Ali and Chirag Shah -- attend the Isaac Newtown Academy in Essex. They call their experimental condom S.T. EYE.
Even though the idea is still in the concept stage, the three boys have mapped out how it will work: Ali explained that the condoms would be covered with antibodies. As soon as an antibody comes in contact with the antigen found in STIs, the antibodies would spark the change in color.
Ideally, the condom would turn a different hue depending on which specific STI-causing bacteria it came in contact with. S.T. EYE would have an inbuilt indicator to detect the type of STI. For example, the herpes virus would change it to yellow, while chlamydia, syphyllis and HIV would change it to other colors.
"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," said Ali, in a statement.
Nawaz said their idea came from a Reddit post of 20 things that needed to be invented. So the three teens focused their efforts on the condom that identifies STIs.