Time for an official safe-sex emoji?

Condom maker Durex says so and is presenting a formal submission on Wednesday, World AIDS Day, to get emoticon maker Unicode to adopt one.

In the run-up to the day - designed to unite people around the world in the fight against HIV/AIDS - Durex launched a social media campaign last month "to create the first official safe-sex emoji", asking users to use #condomemoji.

In an age of smartphones and tablets, emoticons, the small icons that are used to express emotions or physical things, are "crucial" to how young couples communicate, Durex said.

Citing its own research, the company said in a statement some 80 percent of 16-25 year olds find it easier to express themselves with emojis. Some 84 percent felt more comfortable using icons when talking about sex, Durex added.

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Durex said it was sending the submission to Unicode following "resounding global support" for the campaign.

A video for the campaign showed various way emojis are used to discuss sex, but noted the lack of one encouraging safe-sex.

It proposed an angled, inflated condom.