In the News

Getting Men to Use Condoms

26 June 2013
Author: UNFPA

It takes just a peek at the online store Condomania to appreciate the variety of condoms out there.

Flavors like island punch, banana split and bubble gum. Vibrating condom rings with batteries that last up to 20 minutes. Glow-in-the-dark condoms promising “30 minutes of glowing fun.”

And under the category “Celebrity Condoms,” there is the “Obama Condoms Stimulus Package,” each condom embossed with an image of the president giving two thumbs up.

But even if that presidential seal of approval were real, it would not overcome a chronic and serious public health obstacle: Most men do not like condoms.

Now an influential player in global health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is getting into the game. The foundation just finished collecting applications for what it calls a Grand Challenge: to develop “a next-generation condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure.”
The goal is to address two significant problems: unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS.

Read the full story by Pam Belluck and check out the videos in the New York Times.