There has been an alarming increase in sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2014, according to the Center for Disease Controls and Prevention. Condoms, although a frequently used item (we hope), have undergone very few changes in the past century and young people have reported to be less likely to use condoms (which probably explains the increase in STD rates across the country). Researchers from the Swinburne University of Technology are in the midst of changing the condom game by making condoms out of hydrogel–a material that feels just like skin.

The researchers are using hydrogel with an aim to make a condom that feels just as good, possibly better, than wearing no condom at all  and as a result, hoping to increase condom use around the world.

Aside from increased pleasure, scientists are able to blend in chemicals and medications into the hydrogel material that could help fight sexually transmitted infections. Additionally, the hydrogel material is also thinner and stronger than latex.

To ensure maximum pleasure, the researchers are using brain scans to test people’s reactions when they touch the materials (disclaimer: participants are touching the materials with their finger only, for now).

When can you buy them?  The patent is still awaiting approval. Once approved, researchers hope to test the Hydrogel condoms within the next six months and then the condoms will go to the market. Until then, don’t forget to pull out use another form of protection!
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