"The contest is part of Gates' Grand Challenges organization, a family of grant programs that 'focuses on 16 major global health challenges with the aim of engaging creative minds across scientific disciplines.' The global health problem to be tackled through this challenge is the stopping the spread of AIDS/HIV, with the idea being that if technological improvements were made so that condoms are more pleasurable and easier to properly apply, perhaps people would use them more regularly."
Let's talk about sex: Condom use has fallen in the United States in recent years, particularly among teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Globally, the lack of consistent condom use by sexually active adults remains a serious issue. (There is at least some encouraging news: in South Africa, home to just .7% of the world's population but 17% of HIV/AIDS sufferers, condom use among young males is trending up from a decade ago.) A better condom design leading to better adoption rates could mean significant gains for public health and a reduction in associated treatment expenditures.
Designers, take note: The initial $100,000 grant could lead to a million-dollar funding deal.
Read more at NPR.