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Strategies for enhancing uptake of HIV self-testing among Nigerian youths: a descriptive analysis of the 4YouthByYouth crowdsourcing contest
  1. Nora E Rosenberg1,
  2. Chisom S Obiezu-Umeh2,
  3. Titilola Gbaja-Biamila3,4,
  4. Kadija M Tahlil5,
  5. Ucheoma Nwaozuru4,
  6. David Oladele3,4,
  7. Adesola Z Musa3,
  8. Ifeoma Idigbe3,
  9. Jane Okwuzu3,
  10. Tajudeen Bamidele3,
  11. Weiming Tang6,
  12. Oliver Ezechi3,
  13. Joseph D Tucker7,
  14. Juliet Iwelunmor4
  1. 1 Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2 College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Nigeria
  3. 3 Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, Nigeria
  4. 4 Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
  5. 5 Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  6. 6 University of North Carolina Project-China, Guangzhou, China
  7. 7 IGHID, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Juliet Iwelunmor, Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO 63103, USA; juliet.iwelunmor{at}

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Summary box

What are the new findings?

  • Our crowdsourcing contest was an effective approach to youth engagement and participation in HIV research.

  • Through the participation of over 800 Nigerian youths, our 4YouthByYouth crowdsourcing contest generated several high-quality ideas for the promotion of HIV self-testing in Nigeria.

  • Our findings suggest that the use of multiple modalities (both offline and online platforms) encouraged a diverse and broad participation from a range of youths with access to different types of technology.

How might it impact on healthcare in the future?

  • Strategies generated can be cultivated into effective interventions that ultimately improve HIV self-testing uptake among youth.


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) recognises that in order to achieve its ambitious goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030,1 it is essential to engage youths as beneficiaries, partners and leaders.2 To date, inadequate youth engagement has resulted in poor health service utilisation. In Nigeria, for example, youths face a high burden of HIV, yet have very low testing uptake. With an overall HIV prevalence of 1.5% in Nigeria, adolescents and young adults account for up to 34% of new cases of HIV infection.3 In 2013, 16% of Nigerian young women and 9% of young men 15–24 years old had ever tested for HIV,4 with only modest progress in the ensuing years.3 5 6 Nigeria’s 2016–2020 National HIV Strategy for Adolescents and Young People recognises a broad range of facility-level barriers and negative provider attitudes that limit young people from testing in health facilities.7 Recognising and responding with innovative approaches that will address such barriers and enable more young people to receive HIV testing is needed.8

HIV self-testing (HIVST) is a strategy in which an individual administers his/her own HIV test and interprets his/her test results.9 In its 2019 guidelines, the WHO strongly recommends HIVST as being acceptable and feasible in …

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  • Twitter @JosephTucker

  • NER, CSO-U and TG-B contributed equally.

  • Contributors OE, JDT and JI conceived the idea for the study. NER drafted the paper. NER, KMT and JDT performed data acquisition and data analysis. CSO-U, TG-B, KMT, UN, DO, AZM, II, JO, TB and WT reviewed drafts and provided written feedback. JI, JDT and OE edited the paper for critical content. All authors contributed substantially to the preparation of this manuscript. All authors have read and approved the manuscript.

  • Funding The study is funded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Grant number: 1UG3HD096929. The authors are also funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (R00MH104154, R34MH109359 and R34MH119963) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (P30AI50410 and K24AI143471).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.