Dr. Mehta’s current work focuses on identifying bio-behavioral risks and pathways for STIs and HIV. Additionally, her work in antimicrobial resistant N. gonorrhoeaehas provided support to national STI treatment guidelines in Kenya. Her teaching interests include core epidemiologic concepts and the epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections.
Dr. Mehta is the principal investigator of an NIH-funded 5-year study of the effect of the penile microbiome on women’s risk Bacterial vaginosis, genital ulcer disease, and genital epithelial trauma. This study, Afya jozi, Afya jamii, will eventually enroll 204 heterosexual couples in Kisumu, Kenya, and follow them for one year. Over four times points, the male and female genital microbiomes and local immune markers of inflammation will be measured to understand how the penile microbiome contributes to STIs. Behavioral assessments used in Kenya have been adapted for a U.S. population and are currently being assessed in Chicago and the Dominican Republic, for cross-national comparison.