Watch Charlie Sheen discuss HIV status in powerful ad for hi-tech condom

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The spot is part of a crowdfunding drive for Hex, a prophylactic its manufacturer says is the most innovative in 70 years

Sex-toy brand Lelo has launched a new condom, Lelo Hex, which it said represented the first major design innovation in the contraceptive device for 70 years.

Hex is constructed of a series of hexagonal panels of latex that allows it to be thinner and more flexible than normal condoms but maintain the same strength.

The brand has signed up controversial actor Charlie Sheen to front the launch campaign. Sheen, who revealed last November that he was HIV-positive, appears in an online video speaking frankly about his past reluctance to use condoms.

It is one of a series of films produced by Alpha Century, part of a crowdfunding drive, which will offer 10,000 early adopters the chance to try the condoms before they go on sale.

Lelo said that condom use was in decline, despite the continued rise of HIV and other STIs globally.

Sheen is also appearing at a pair of events this week in London and New York called Hex Appeal.

"Hex Appeal is about getting people excited to try the next-generation condom, one that’s structurally different from any that have come before," said Steve Thomson, CMO at Lelo. "Our goal is to get a minimum of 10,000 backers to pledge to experience Hex in advance and start spreading the word about the game-changing benefits it has to offer, so our partners were key."

Sheen became an Internet sensation in 2011, thanks to his colorful interviews. He was fired from his starring role in "Two and a Half Men" the same year.

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