Project Details

Baby toes


Enabling early infant diagnosis of HIV


Project URL:
Project Twitter: @aasincco

  • Health
  • Social Exclusion

Decentralised testing for an HIV-linked cancer called ‘Kaposi’s sarcoma’ has massive potential to save lives. Early diagnosis can make all the difference for treatment, and nowhere is this more important than for infants in the first few months of life. Peak mortality occurs from eight to 12 weeks old, and in limited resource areas a diagnosis is often made too late. 

A’as, Inc. is a company based in the US, with a mission to democratise access to the world of DNA through polymerase chain reactions (PCR). This technique forms copies of DNA segments, enabling researchers to work with multiples of the same material and get results faster. PCR makes bedside and in-field diagnostics of multiple diseases and infections possible, often with more accurate results than traditional antibody tests. 

A’as has now – for the first time – made affordable, portable PCR available to everyone through SolarDx. This solar-powered instrument, the size of a lunchbox, enables point-of-care testing for Kaposi’s sarcoma, anywhere. The results are delivered in a one-step process directly to a smartphone app within 30 minutes. Using SolarDx solves the problem of lengthy waiting periods for biopsy results, and enables testing in remote areas, even off-grid. 

SolarDx is the first step in A’as’ ultimate goal: significantly reducing infant mortality that is attributable to HIV. The company is scaling up to meet this goal through delivering more SolarDx devices into markets where they’re most essential, keeping track of infant diagnoses, treatments and the improved survival rates. A’as is working with significant partners in the field, and has demos and an email mailing list available on their website. Be sure to sign up to receive updates.

Image 'Baby toes' courtesy of sabianmaggy.

Last updated: 10th of September, 2015

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