The Bill Gates Condom Challenge has been launched by the Microsoft leader’s charitable organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the unusual challenge, to design a new kind of condom, is to work on reducing the prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The Huffington Post reports that Gates has offered to give away $100,000 to the winner of the challenge, which aims to find someone able to create a condom that appeals to the men that need to use them.

The foundation is particularly focused on the problem of low condom use in places where cultural barriers hinders the use of protection. In Zambia, for instance, the AIDS Alliance reports that the suggestion of using a condom can in many instances lead to domestic violence. A blog on the foundation’s website lays out the challenge: “What if we could develop a condom that would provide all the benefit of our current versions, without the drawbacks? Even better, what if we could develop one that was preferred to no condom?”

The deputy director of the HIV Program at the Gates Foundation told “the more appealing a condom is for a man to use, the greater likelihood of use there will be. And we're not talking about a particularly expensive technology here by any means. They are the least expensive HIV technology." 

Bill Gates
Bill Gates: The renowned business leader has offered a prize to design a new kind of condom