back to article Bill Gates-funded boffins develop anti-AIDS stealth condom

Scientists in Utah have developed what they term a "molecular condom", a type of gel which "turns semisolid in the presence of semen, trapping AIDS virus particles in a microscopic mesh". "Due to cultural and socioeconomic factors, women often are unable to negotiate the use of protection with their partner," says Julie Jay, …

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Potential!

I can see something like this finding much favour throughout the world, where the male reluctance to using condoms "cos it don't feel as good" is as prevalent in a Saturday morning grope in Manchester as any sub-Saharan country!

All it really needs is other STI resistances to be added in.

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Er...

...for a second I thought I'd clicked on The Onion...

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Stop

right clever idea, BUT...

how do they intend to distribute? Who will pay for it and how? The intended beneficiaries of this tech are not free and empowered western women or even those in the more developed parts of the Asian world. Sub-Saharan women may not be able to trot down the the local chemist to pick up a new batch of cleverly engineered goo. Moreover, even if they COULD make it there, how much will this cost? Do Sub-Saharan women have that kind of cash?

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Badgers

In Utah, you say...?

I wonder whether the many wives of a Latter Day Saint are "empowered to force their partners to wear a condom."

Regardless, while it's good to give women the chance to protect themselves, I suspect that this will be significantly less effective than condoms, and the danger is that its mere existance will encourage an even more laissez-faire attitude on the part of some men. Will the end result be increase or decrease? It's too early to say....

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Gates Horns

Utah?

Those frisky Mormons!

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Interesting

I'd be interested to know how affective the research team think it will be as a regularly used alternative to condoms, such as within a relationship were both partners are clean, but want to avoid pregnancy.

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FAIL

I won´t trust MS too much on this one

Judging MS´s track record of computer catching viruses because they run MS´s Windows... I won´t feel safe wearing a MS made condom to avoid catching a virus...

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Paris Hilton

one little snag

it's also going to need to be practically free so all these poor people can afford it.

Paris, because if it got anywhere near her, she'd look like Han Solo encased in carbonite due to her high sperm count.

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Okaaayyyy...

I'm sure this will result in Bill being slagged off in some way for being evil or something, but I really can't think how. Queue *tards.

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Linux

Bill Gate

When I heard Bill Gates backing this. I want to know.

Can I Beta test?

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Naturally inactivated?

How would the HIV particles be inactivated? That's rather crucial.

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AIDS? Unwanted pregnencies also

Even if it proved only 50% or 20% effective it would still have benefits, for one, reducing by 20% the amount of transmitted aids, but perhaps even if the AIDS virus is unimpeded, it might reduce pregnencies by a far larger amount.

which I guess is a good thing if you can barely afford to feed yourself, but are unfortunate enough to be sitting on the one thing most males think about the most.

So if a quick squirt of jelly each day, if it's cheap enough, or free, can do this, they might have less problems with transmission of aids (hopefully more than 20%) and unwanted pregnencies putting strain on an already strained food supply.

However, I once asked my father why people in africa have so many children and his response was that perhaps it has something to do with the harsh conditions upon which they live, in order for one child to survive, you must have 5 of them. 4 of them will die, so better to have more than let them die than to have 1 and have no family to further your genes by. So large families whilst a strain, are in fact, one of the reasons they can still live in that part of the world. So perhaps large families whilst being hard to live with because of lack of food, might be required in order to live at all.

(Weird, even in 2009, that conversation still makes sense more than 15 years later.)

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Alert

Pre-human testing

Ahh, the poor sheep!

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Could Hurt~!

Ouch!

Let me get this straight, this gel turns "semi-solid" in the presents of sperm. What if this stuff get up the urethra and turns semi-solid would stuff gets stuck! Worse, what if it expands! Then you would have semi-solid gel expanding in your urethra.... How would you get semi-solid out of a clogged urethra?

Animal testing is needed.

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Surplus to requirements

Chris Thomas Alpha "in order for one child to survive, you must have 5 of them. 4 of them will die, so better to have more than let them die than to have 1 and have no family to further your genes by."

Yup, we've just moved on a bit from that over here in 'civilisation'. We don't need to fill the mills with people anymore. We've got to the point where the BNP are worried about a falling membership due to natural selection.

I wonder if the Vatican has a certain song from the Meaning of Life as music on hold?

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Pint

@zerofool2005

Genius!

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Gates Halo

@Fraser

It'll be those American anti-choice people slagging the evil Mr Gates off.

Many of those loonies are not only anti-abortion but anti-contraception too.

Hopefully they'll start an anti-Windows campaign.

Just had a thought, perhaps your post wasn't from a paranoiac Gates ar5e-licker - that means I'm the paranoid one.

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FAIL

@AC "In Utah, you say...?"

"I wonder whether the many wives of a Latter Day Saint are ..."

*Head/desk percussive interface* Polygamy = banned in US since 1860s, Mormon or not, and banned by the LDS since 1890. Much as I hold no brief particularly for the Mormons, you are made of <see icon>

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder...

If this could be used with normal condoms as an additional layer of protection in case of a tear? Especially if one partner is suspected or known to have HIV/aids.

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Go

"Solidifies"

So does concrete. Gives a whole new meaning to the term "hard".

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Anonymous Coward

Small deficiency..

This stuff appears to solidify under certain conditions. What if they get it wrong?

:-)

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Welcome

Fantastic invention!

Even better it shouldn't spoil the feeling like a "regular" condom. Depending on the viscosity it could make it a bit better!

So it should make sex safer, safe sex better, help wipe out AIDS as it becomes less able to spread- and even better with Gates backing rather than a major pharma company there's a chance it could become available at a price-point that isn't out of reach of the people who'll really benefit from it. I mean he's pretty unlikely to be driven by a need for more money...

Even better, this way we could avoid the "safer" pill/headset/etc versions of sex from the likes of Demolition Man and Barbarella! Jane Fonda will be so pleased.

The doormat icon as with this stealth-condom it'll be safe to come inside!

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Anonymous Coward

Contraceptive?

*Does* it prevent pregnancy? Or only trap viruses?

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@Chris Thomas Alpha

"... to further your genes ...."

No, the primary reason for large families in areas of high infant mortality is not to propagate one's genes, but in the hope that some children will survive to prevent you starving when you're too old to work/find food.

Do you think there's no correlation between the introduction of the welfare state and the reduction in family sizes over the last century?

PS: a $100K contribution from a mega-billion foundation to such a potentially valuable development sounds a bit niggardly to me.......

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Paris Hilton

Firm Warning

The label needs to clearly indicate the potential problems, such as "Choking Hazard!"

Paris... Duh?

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@AC 10th August 2009 15:08 GMT

A self repairing condom? I think you're on to a winner there.

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Black Helicopters

vroom

I can't see this working unless its deploy-able by area dispersal.

Still, points for thinking outside the box. Maybe this can be used as coating for condoms for added protection incase they break.

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WTF?

Priorities?

This potentially hugely beneficial research attracted $100k from a private charitable foundation. And DARPA throws millions at stuff that will probably never be used and even more on stuff that hopefully should never get used.

/me shakes head in despair

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Alien

@nimomach

Because there is no legal limit to the number of girlfriends and children on has, Polygamy still exists in Utah and other States. It is just not registered. While the biggest Morman Church has stated Polygamy is not part of the Scriptures, there are Protestant Morman churches who state the main Church is following politics and not scriptures.

Protestant= one who protests.

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Anonymous Coward

Three things...

Cost-

People seem to be concerned about the cost of this particular solution. Please remember that the Gates Foundation not only has an endowment from Bill Gates' fortune (Bill is on record as saying he will only give his kids each 10 million when he and Melinda die, not chump change, but when compared to 60 billion?), Warren Buffet has also pledged his fortune to the foundation when he dies. They can subsidize giving this product to women free of charge.

Natural death of HIV-

Even though it is one of the most infectious diseases of modern times, people seem to forget that HIV is a very very fragile virus. It can only be transmitted via fluid to fluid transfer, any other medium causes its death. Being suspended in a semisolid gel would be a death sentence for it just based on the changing pH balance alone, let alone the antivirals they'll add.

*endless jokes/comments about MS and viruses*-

The Gates foundation is completely separate from MS. MS has nothing to do with the Gates foundation, outside of its employees contributing time and money to the organization (which MS matches in kind, I might add). The Gates foundation is a charitable organization that is doing very very good work, so please don't slag them off because of your personal operating system preference.

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Coffee/keyboard

Good choice of spam

Is it purely coincidence that the footer-advert in the RSS nugget for this article reads:

"Web threats: Why conventional protection doesn't work"

If not, well done indeed. Keyboard, monitor, c'mon, pay up.

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Gates Foundation and MS

"The Gates foundation is completely separate from MS. MS has nothing to do with the Gates foundation."

Bollocks!

Look at 2 minutes into http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVlnqnMHQ1c

NB how the Gates Foundation Handshaking is done in front of a Microsft banner.

Same deal when MS/Gates announced the Buffet contribution.

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Boffin

Caution!!! Complete Utter BS!!! Caution!!!

This is criminal, these guyz should be locked up!

There are two ways for transmittal of aids during intercourse:

1. Sperm

2. Blood

All you both need is a microscopic wound (very common) and you "share" your disease! Probably want to rock a little harder than usual, well not with them "condoms".

Now, who gave them their PhD? Looks like they found it on the back of a cereal box ... ;-)

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Boffin

@AC 18:54

I think you should have a look at various reports on the Gates foundation (in google/bing/yahoo/altavista). I doubt you will believe them, but there is always hope ... ;-)

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FAIL

@3kids2cats1dog

Dude. It does not go up there.

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