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Bacterial Vaginosis Point-of-Care Diagnostics

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a highly prevalent imbalance in the vaginal microbiome that increases risk of HIV acquisition and adverse birth outcomes. BV remains prevalent partly because most cases are asymptomatic and accurate, inexpensive point-of-care diagnostics do not exist. We aim to address this healthcare gap by developing a low-cost point-of-care diagnostic test for BV.  


To develop a low-cost point-of-care diagnostic test for BV.

This work may lead to the development of an accessible, low-cost point-of-care diagnostic test for BV. We envisage that this test would be offered to sexually active women attending family planning clinics, community health centres, hospitals and mobile clinics, particularly in populations at high risk of HIV and adverse birth outcomes. By using this screening strategy to identify and immediately treat women with BV, we could reduce risk of HIV acquisition, as well as HIV transmission to partners, mother-to-child transmission and adverse reproductive outcomes. Averting just a small proportion of HIV infections and adverse pregnancy outcomes would have a large economic and social impact, considering the expense of life-long antiretroviral therapy, the costs associated with the treatment of opportunistic infections, as well as the costs associated with adverse birth outcomes. 

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Contact Person

Contact Doctor Lindi Masson for more information about this project.



  • NIH
  • Poliomyelitis Research Foundation, South Africa
  • South African Medical Research Council

Partners +

  • University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Desmond Tutu Health Foundation, South Africa
  • MatCH Research Unit, South Africa
  • Setshaba Research Centre, South Africa
  • FHI360, US
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, US