Social Entrepreneurship for Sexual Health Team Awarded Five Year NIH Grant to Investigate Crowdsourcing Approaches to Improving HIV Testing and Linkage

Guangzhou, China– Social Entrepreneurship for Sexual Health (SESH) is part of a consortium that received a $3.07 million USD, five-year grant (details here) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research the utility of crowdsourcing to improve HIV testing and link to care campaigns among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM). Given the increases in internet and social media usage, tapping into new technological avenues to promote HIV testing and linkage to care is a key step toward expanding HIV services.

Joe Tucker, MDThe research team, led by Assistant Professors Joe Tucker (UNC) and Chongyi Wei (UCSF), consists of a collaborative team of both Chinese and American researchers. The team includes researchers from the Guangdong Provincial STD Control Center, Shandong University, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Bristol University. The grant will allow SESH to build upon previous research with developing crowdsourcing and social marketing HIV campaigns targeting MSM in China. Crowdsourcing is the process of taking a task performed by an individual and outsourcing it to a large group in the form of a contest or open call. It also offers an opportunity to understand the needs and preferences of hidden key populations. The research project compares the two interventions at four different sites then estimates the potential impact of these two interventions. Using crowdsourcing to design HIV campaigns is an innovative approach that can spur new thinking, interdisciplinary perspectives, and new cost-effective approaches.

“We are excited to have this opportunity to empirically test the value of using crowdsourcing to enhance HIV testing campaigns,” said Joe Tucker, founder of SESH.

SESH is a non-government organization that brings together community-based organizations (CBOs), the public sector, foundations, and the private sector to implement innovative programs. More details are available on the SESH Global website at

UPDATE: SESH Global has selected finalists in the “Testing Saves Lives” HIV testing video contest. This contest used crowdsourcing to generate a number of HIV testing promotion videos from health community based organizations (CBOs) across China. These videos are specifically targeting men who have sex with men, a high risk population in China. The finalists are Beijing Danlan Gongyi, Chengdu Tongle, and Shanghai Xinsheng. These videos have potential utility in testing facilities as well websites and phone applications. Click on the links below to view the videos:

Danlan (Beijing, China)
Tongle (Chengdu, China)
Shanghai (Sex Worker and Men Who Have Sex with Men Center)

Contact: Julie Kim / (+86) 131-4375-3840 /