Digital crowdsourced intervention to promote HIV testing among MSM in China: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Men who have sex with men (MSM) are an important HIV key population in China. However, HIV testing rates among MSM remain suboptimal. Digital crowdsourced media interventions may be a useful tool to reach this marginalized population. We define digital crowdsourced media as using social media, mobile phone applications, Internet, or other digital approaches to disseminate messages developed from crowdsourcing contests. The proposed cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) study aims to assess the effectiveness of a digital crowdsourced intervention to increase HIV testing uptake and decrease risky sexual behaviors among Chinese MSM. METHODS:A two-arm, cluster-randomized controlled trial will be implemented in eleven cities (ten clusters) in Shandong Province, China. Targeted study participants will be 250 MSM per arm and 50 participants per cluster. MSM who are 18?years old or above, live in the study city, have not been tested for HIV in the past 3?months, are not living with HIV or have never been tested for HIV, and are willing to provide informed consent will be enrolled. Participants will be recruited through banner advertisements on Blued, the largest gay dating app in China, and in-person at community-based organizations (CBOs). The intervention includes a series of crowdsourced intervention materials (24 images and four short videos about HIV testing and safe sexual behaviors) and HIV self-test services provided by the study team. The intervention was developed through a series of participatory crowdsourcing contests before this study. The self-test kits will be sent to the participants in the intervention group at the 2nd and 3rd follow-ups. Participants will be followed up quarterly during the 12-month period. The primary outcome will be self-reported HIV testing uptake at 12?months. Secondary outcomes will include changes in condomless sex, self-test efficacy, social network engagement, HIV testing social norms, and testing stigma. DISCUSSION:Innovative approaches to HIV testing among marginalized population are urgently needed. Through this cluster randomized controlled trial, we will evaluate the effectiveness of a digital crowdsourced intervention, improving HIV testing uptake among MSM and providing a resource in related public health fields. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ChiCTR1900024350 . Registered on 6 July 2019.
Project description:BACKGROUND:HIV testing rates are suboptimal among at-risk men. Crowdsourcing may be a useful tool for designing innovative, community-based HIV testing strategies to increase HIV testing. The purpose of this study was to use a stepped wedge cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effect of a crowdsourced HIV intervention on HIV testing uptake among men who have sex with men (MSM) in eight Chinese cities. METHODS AND FINDINGS:An HIV testing intervention was developed through a national image contest, a regional strategy designathon, and local message contests. The final intervention included a multimedia HIV testing campaign, an online HIV testing service, and local testing promotion campaigns tailored for MSM. This intervention was evaluated using a closed cohort stepped wedge cluster RCT in eight Chinese cities (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Jiangmen in Guangdong province; Jinan, Qingdao, Yantai, and Jining in Shandong province) from August 2016 to August 2017. MSM were recruited through Blued, a social networking mobile application for MSM, from July 29 to August 21 of 2016. The primary outcome was self-reported HIV testing in the past 3 months. Secondary outcomes included HIV self-testing, facility-based HIV testing, condom use, and syphilis testing. Generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) were used to analyze primary and secondary outcomes. We enrolled a total of 1,381 MSM. Most were ?30 years old (82%), unmarried (86%), and had a college degree or higher (65%). The proportion of individuals receiving an HIV test during the intervention periods within a city was 8.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.2-15.5) greater than during the control periods. In addition, the intention-to-treat analysis showed a higher probability of receiving an HIV test during the intervention periods as compared to the control periods (estimated risk ratio [RR] = 1.43, 95% CI 1.19-1.73). The intervention also increased HIV self-testing (RR = 1.89, 95% CI 1.50-2.38). There was no effect on facility-based HIV testing (RR = 1.00, 95% CI 0.79-1.26), condom use (RR = 1.00, 95% CI 0.86-1.17), or syphilis testing (RR = 0.92, 95% CI 0.70-1.21). A total of 48.6% (593/1,219) of participants reported that they received HIV self-testing. Among men who received two HIV tests, 32 individuals seroconverted during the 1-year study period. Study limitations include the use of self-reported HIV testing data among a subset of men and non-completion of the final survey by 23% of participants. Our study population was a young online group in urban China and the relevance of our findings to other populations will require further investigation. CONCLUSIONS:In this setting, crowdsourcing was effective for developing and strengthening community-based HIV testing services for MSM. Crowdsourced interventions may be an important tool for the scale-up of HIV testing services among MSM in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02796963.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Crowdsourcing has been used to spur innovation and increase community engagement in public health programmes. Crowdsourcing is the process of giving individual tasks to a large group, often involving open contests and enabled through multisectoral partnerships. Here we describe one crowdsourced video intervention in which a video promoting condom use is produced through an open contest. The aim of this study is to determine whether a crowdsourced intervention is as effective as a social marketing intervention in promoting condom use among high-risk men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender male-to-female (TG) in China. METHOD:We evaluate videos developed by crowdsourcing and social marketing. The crowdsourcing contest involved an open call for videos. Entries were judged on capacity to promote condom use, to be shareable or 'go viral' and to give value to the individual. 1170 participants will be recruited for the randomised controlled trial. Participants need to be MSM age 16 and over who have had condomless anal sex in the last 3?months. Recruitment will be through an online banner ad on a popular MSM web page and other social media platforms. After completing an initial survey, participants will be randomly assigned to view either the social marketing video or the crowdsourcing video. Follow-up surveys will be completed at 3?weeks and 3?months after initial intervention to evaluate condomless sex and related secondary outcomes. Secondary outcomes include condom social norms, condom negotiation, condom self-efficacy, HIV/syphilis testing, frequency of sex acts and incremental cost. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:Approval was obtained from the ethical review boards of the Guangdong Provincial Center for Skin Diseases and STI Control, UNC and UCSF. The results of this trial will be made available through publication in peer-reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:NCT02516930.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>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.<h4>Methods</h4>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.<h4>Results</h4>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).<h4>Conclusions</h4>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.<h4>Clinical trials registration</h4>NCT02248558.
Project description:BACKGROUND:HIV testing for marginalized populations is critical to controlling the HIV epidemic. However, the HIV testing rate among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China remains low. Crowdsourcing, the process of shifting individual tasks to a group, has been increasingly adopted in public health programs and may be a useful tool for spurring innovation in HIV testing campaigns. We designed a multi-site study to develop a crowdsourced HIV test promotion campaign and evaluate its effectiveness against conventional campaigns among MSM in China. METHODS:This study will use an adaptation of the stepped wedge, randomized controlled trial design. A total of eight major metropolitan cities in China will be randomized to sequentially initiate interventions at 3-month intervals. The intervention uses crowdsourcing at multiple steps to sustain crowd contribution. Approximately 1280 MSM, who are 16 years of age or over, live in the intervention city, have not been tested for HIV in the past 3 months, and are not living with HIV, will be recruited. Recruitment will take place through banner advertisements on a large gay dating app along with other social media platforms. Participants will complete one follow-up survey every 3 months for 12 months to evaluate their HIV testing uptake in the past 3 months and secondary outcomes including syphilis testing, sex without condoms, community engagement, testing stigma, and other related outcomes. DISCUSSION:MSM HIV testing rates remain poor in China. Innovative methods to promote HIV testing are urgently needed. With a large-scale, stepped wedge, randomized controlled trial our study can improve understanding of crowdsourcing's long-term effectiveness in public health campaigns, expand HIV testing coverage among a key population, and inform intervention design in related public health fields. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02796963 . Registered on 23 May 2016.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The World Health Organization recommends all men who have sex with men (MSM) receive Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) testing. MSM in China are a high-risk group for HBV and HCV infection, but test uptake is low. Crowdsourcing invites a large group to solve a problem and then shares the solution with the public. This nationwide online randomized controlled trial will evaluate the effectiveness of a crowdsourced intervention to increase HBV and HCV testing among MSM in China. METHODS:Seven hundred MSM will be recruited through social media operated by MSM organizations in China. Eligible participants will be born biologically male, age 16 years or older, report previous anal sex with another man, and reside in China. After completing a baseline online survey, participants will be randomly assigned to intervention or control arms with a 1:1 allocation ratio. The intervention will include two components: (1) a multimedia component will deliver two videos and two images promoting HBV and HCV testing developed through a crowdsourcing contest in China; (2) a participatory component will invite men to submit suggestions for how to improve crowdsourced videos and images. The control arm will not view any images or videos and will not be invited to submit suggestions. All participants will be offered reimbursement for HBV and HCV testing costs. The primary outcome is HBV and HCV test uptake confirmed through electronic submission of test report photos within four weeks of enrolment. Secondary outcomes include self-reported HBV and HCV test uptake, HBV vaccination uptake, and change in stigma toward people living with HBV after four weeks. Primary and secondary outcomes will be calculated using intention to treat and as-exposed analyses and compared using two-sided 95% confidence intervals. DISCUSSION:Few previous studies have evaluated interventions to increase HBV and HCV testing in middle-income countries with a high burden of hepatitis. Delivering a crowdsourced intervention using social media is a novel approach to increasing hepatitis testing rates. HBV and HCV test uptake will be confirmed through test report photos, avoiding the limitations of self-reported testing outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION:NCT03482388 (29 March 2018).
Project description:BACKGROUND:Crowdsourcing, the process of shifting individual tasks to a large group, may be useful for health communication, making it more people-centered. We aimed to evaluate whether a crowdsourced video is noninferior to a social marketing video in promoting condom use. METHODS:Men who have sex with men (?16 years old, had condomless sex within 3 months) were recruited and randomly assigned to watch 1 of the 2 videos in 2015. The crowdsourced video was developed through an open contest, and the social marketing video was designed by using social marketing principles. Participants completed a baseline survey and follow-up surveys at 3 weeks and 3 months postintervention. The outcome was compared with a noninferiority margin of +10%. RESULTS:Among the 1173 participants, 907 (77%) and 791 (67%) completed the 3-week and 3-month follow-ups. At 3 weeks, condomless sex was reported by 146 (33.6%) of 434 participants and 153 (32.3%) 473 participants in the crowdsourced and social marketing arms, respectively. The crowdsourced intervention achieved noninferiority (estimated difference, +1.3%; 95% confidence interval, -4.8% to 7.4%). At 3 months, 196 (52.1%) of 376 individuals and 206 (49.6%) of 415 individuals reported condomless sex in the crowdsourced and social-marketing arms (estimated difference: +2.5%, 95% confidence interval, -4.5 to 9.5%). The 2 arms also had similar human immunodeficiency virus testing rates and other condom-related secondary outcomes. CONCLUSIONS:Our study demonstrates that crowdsourced message is noninferior to a social marketing intervention in promoting condom use among Chinese men who have sex with men. Crowdsourcing contests could have a wider reach than other approaches and create more people-centered intervention tools for human immunodeficiency virus control.
Project description:Background:Crowdsourcing may be an effective strategy to develop test promotion materials. We conducted an online randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate a crowdsourced intervention to promote hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. Methods:MSM never previously tested for hepatitis were recruited through social media. Eligible men were randomized to receive an online crowdsourced intervention or no testing promotion materials. Outcomes including self-reported and confirmed HBV and HCV test uptake were assessed after four weeks. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of men achieving primary and secondary outcomes between the intervention and control arms were calculated. Findings:556 eligible men were enrolled. Overall, 17•4% (97/556) of men self-reported HBV and HCV testing and 7•9% (44/556) confirmed HBV and HCV test uptake. The intervention was seen by 72•1% and 29•0% of men in the intervention and control arms, respectively. In intention-to-treat analysis, confirmed HBV and HCV test uptake was similar between the two arms, both when using a missing=failure approach (OR 0•98, 95% CI 0•53-1•82) or multiple imputation (OR 1•46, 95% CI 0•72-2•95). Interpretation:This RCT extends the literature by developing and evaluating an intervention to spur hepatitis testing in a middle-income country with a high burden of hepatitis. Overall test uptake among MSM in China was similar to previous interventions promoting hepatitis testing in high-income countries. We found frequent intervention sharing, complicating interpretation of the results, and the role of crowdsourcing to promote hepatitis testing remains unclear.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To assess the potential for crowdsourcing to complement and extend community advisory board (CAB) feedback on HIV clinical trials. Crowdsourcing involves community members attempting to solve a problem and then sharing solutions.<h4>Methods</h4>CAB and crowdsourced approaches were implemented in the context of a phase 1 HIV antibody trial to collect feedback on informed consent, participation experiences, and fairness. CAB engagement was conducted through group discussions with members of an HIV CAB. Crowdsourcing involved open events intended to engage the local community, including interactive video modules, animated vignettes, and a creative idea contest. Open coding and analysis of emergent themes were conducted to compare CAB and crowdsourced feedback.<h4>Results</h4>The crowdsourcing activities engaged 61 people across three events; nine people engaged in CAB feedback. Compared with CAB participants, crowdsourcing participants had lower levels of education and income, and higher levels of disability and unemployment. Overlap in CAB and crowdsourced feedback included recommendations for enhancing communication and additional support for trial participants. Crowdsourcing provided more detailed feedback on the impact of positive experiences and socio-economic factors on trial participation. CAB feedback included greater emphasis on institutional regulations and tailoring trial procedures. Crowdsourced feedback emphasized alternative methods for learning about trials and concerns with potential risks of trial participation.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Conducting crowdsourcing in addition to CAB engagement can yield a broader range of stakeholder feedback to inform the design and conduct of HIV clinical trials. VIDEO ABSTRACT:.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Investigators increasingly use online methods to recruit participants for randomised controlled trials (RCTs). However, the extent to which participants recruited online represent populations of interest is unknown. We evaluated how generalisable an online RCT sample is to men who have sex with men in China. METHODS:Inverse probability of sampling weights (IPSW) and the G-formula were used to examine the generalisability of an online RCT using model-based approaches. Online RCT data and national cross-sectional study data from China were analysed to illustrate the process of quantitatively assessing generalisability. The RCT (identifier NCT02248558) randomly assigned participants to a crowdsourced or health marketing video for promotion of HIV testing. The primary outcome was self-reported HIV testing within 4 weeks, with a non-inferiority margin of -3%. RESULTS:In the original online RCT analysis, the estimated difference in proportions of HIV tested between the two arms (crowdsourcing and health marketing) was 2.1% (95% CI, -5.4% to 9.7%). The hypothesis that the crowdsourced video was not inferior to the health marketing video to promote HIV testing was not demonstrated. The IPSW and G-formula estimated differences were -2.6% (95% CI, -14.2 to 8.9) and 2.7% (95% CI, -10.7 to 16.2), with both approaches also not establishing non-inferiority. CONCLUSIONS:Conducting generalisability analysis of an online RCT is feasible. Examining the generalisability of online RCTs is an important step before an intervention is scaled up. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:NCT02248558.
Project description:Stigma against people with hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a barrier to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HBV in China. Our study examined an innovative intervention to reduce HBV stigma among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. We extracted data from a randomized controlled trial conducted in May 2018, where the intervention consisted of crowdsourced images and videos to promote viral hepatitis testing and reduce HBV stigma. HBV stigma was assessed using a 20-item scale at baseline and four weeks post-enrolment. Participants were divided into three groups based on their exposure to intervention: full exposure, partial exposure and no exposure. Linear regression was used to determine associations between baseline stigma and participant characteristics. Data from 470 MSM were analysed. Mean participant age was 25 years old and 56% had less education than a college bachelor's degree. Full exposure to intervention was associated with significant stigma reduction (adjusted beta = -3.49; 95% CI = -6.11 to -0.87; P = .01), while partial exposure led to stigma reduction that was not statistically significant. The mean stigma score was 50.6 (SD ± 14.7) at baseline, and stigma was most prominent regarding physical contact with HBV carriers. Greater HBV stigma was associated with not having a recent doctor's visit (adjusted beta = 4.35, 95% CI = 0.19 to 8.52; P = .04). In conclusion, crowdsourcing can decrease HBV stigma among MSM in China and may be useful in anti-stigma campaigns for vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries.