Condom maker Durex says it is calling for the creation of a safe sex emoji and presenting an official submission to emoticon maker Unicode on 1 December, which is World Aids Day.

In the run-up to the day, used to unite people around the world in the fight against HIV and Aids, Durex launched a social media campaign "to create the first official safe sex emoji", asking users to use #CondomEmoji.

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

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