Crowdsourcing HIV Test Promotion Videos: A Noninferiority Randomized Controlled Trial in China

Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Jun 1;62(11):1436-1442. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciw171. Epub 2016 Apr 29.


Background: Crowdsourcing, the process of shifting individual tasks to a large group, may enhance human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing interventions. We conducted a noninferiority, randomized controlled trial to compare first-time HIV testing rates among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender individuals who received a crowdsourced or a health marketing HIV test promotion video.

Methods: Seven hundred twenty-one MSM and transgender participants (≥16 years old, never before tested for HIV) were recruited through 3 Chinese MSM Web portals and randomly assigned to 1 of 2 videos. The crowdsourced video was developed using an open contest and formal transparent judging while the evidence-based health marketing video was designed by experts. Study objectives were to measure HIV test uptake within 3 weeks of watching either HIV test promotion video and cost per new HIV test and diagnosis.

Results: Overall, 624 of 721 (87%) participants from 31 provinces in 217 Chinese cities completed the study. HIV test uptake was similar between the crowdsourced arm (37% [114/307]) and the health marketing arm (35% [111/317]). The estimated difference between the interventions was 2.1% (95% confidence interval, -5.4% to 9.7%). Among those tested, 31% (69/225) reported a new HIV diagnosis. The crowdsourced intervention cost substantially less than the health marketing intervention per first-time HIV test (US$131 vs US$238 per person) and per new HIV diagnosis (US$415 vs US$799 per person).

Conclusions: Our nationwide study demonstrates that crowdsourcing may be an effective tool for improving HIV testing messaging campaigns and could increase community engagement in health campaigns.

Clinical trials registration: NCT02248558.

Keywords: China; HIV; crowdsourcing; men who have sex with men; testing.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • China / epidemiology
  • Crowdsourcing* / economics
  • Crowdsourcing* / methods
  • Crowdsourcing* / statistics & numerical data
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • Health Promotion* / economics
  • Health Promotion* / methods
  • Health Promotion* / statistics & numerical data
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marketing of Health Services* / economics
  • Marketing of Health Services* / methods
  • Marketing of Health Services* / statistics & numerical data
  • Video Recording
  • Young Adult

Associated data