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Friday, 6 September, 2002, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
High speed condom to fight Aids
Condom applicator
It just takes three seconds to put on
A new method of using condoms has been developed in South Africa to help the fight against HIV/Aids.

An applicator has been developed to make the process of putting on the condom much faster and simpler.


People couldn't put it on in the dark

Tyrel Murray, Metropolitan
Using it, a condom can be put on in just three seconds, compared to the standard 30-40 seconds, the developers say.

Research shows that many people do not use condoms because they are fiddly and can be "passion killers".

This prompted South African life insurer Metropolitan to fund the search for an easier way to use condoms and so help reduce the spread of HIV, Tyrel Murray from Metropolitan told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

"People couldn't put it on the dark," he said of a traditional condom - a problem he says the new applicator solves.

'Pops off'

About 25% of sexually active South Africans are HIV positive, according to the government.


It was fun

Tyrel Murray
The applicator was developed by Cape Town-based entrepreneur Willem van Rensburg but is not yet being marketed.

However it costs just one US cent more to produce than a traditional condom.

It is made of polyethylene and comes inside the same package as a condom.

To use it, you bend the packet, which splits open. The condom then slides directly onto the penis and the applicator "pops" off the condom.

"The intention is to make more people use condoms more readily," Mr Murray said.

Condom applicator
It comes inside the traditional condom package

As a life insurer, Metropolitan has an interest in helping people live longer he said, explaining why he had agreed to fund the project.

And Mr Murray also gave it his personal seal of approval.

"It was fun," he said.

"I'm an old married man. I need the novelty."

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Tyrel Murray on BBC Focus on Africa
"It was fun"

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28 Nov 01 | Africa
27 Nov 01 | Africa
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