Lately, I have been regularly asked about condoms that change color when someone has a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Students want to know if this is a real product and if so, does it work?
It is important to note that the STI detecting condom is not really a product, but is more of a concept. The idea, known as the “S.T.EYE”, came from a group of youth attending the Isaac Newton Academy in East London. The thought is that a person can put the condom on and it will reveal if they are infected with an STI. It will change colors depending on which STI is present. Theoretically, this could allow people to know if they have an STI without having to visit the doctor. As of now, this condom does not exist, but there has been talk of making it into a real product that people can buy. At this point, we have no information as to whether or not it would be accurate.
People have wondered, if this condom does go on sale, what will people do if it changes colors? How will they react? Will this motivate people to visit health centers for treatment? What if the condom is not as accurate as regular testing and provides false negatives? If the condom does not change colors, would people then remove the condom for sex, believing that they are not infected? These are all questions that come up and would need to be considered by the manufactures. If this concept ever becomes an actual product, it would still be encouraged that people visit their health centers and discuss their situations with their medical provider.