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Objective: HIV self-testing (HIVST) kits are a viable alternative to testing in clinical settings, but research on the effective ways of promoting uptake of HI VST kits has been lacking. The present study examines crowdsourcing contests as community engagement to promote uptake of HI VST kits among African Americans in the southern region of the US.

Methods: This mixed-methods study design evaluated two contests through qualitative assessment of contest entries. The first contest elicited ideas on how to promote HI VST kits. The second contest sought branding ideas for a pop-up HI VST booth. Qualitative data were digitally transcribed and analysed using MAXQDA software and axial coding.

Results: The study participants (n = 296) were mostly African American (n = 258, 87%) and between 18 and 25 years of age (n = 84, 28%). Contestants suggested making HI VST kits available in community sites and highlighting kits as potential sources of knowledge, relief and empowerment.

Conclusion: Crowdsourcing contests are a beneficial community engagement tool to identify new ways to promote uptake of HI VST kits.