In any relationship, sharing your STD status with your partner can be awkward, but it's not something you want to avoid. A new app called Hula is aiming to not only "make STD testing suck less," but to dismantle the stigma that comes with discussing the matter with a sexual partner.
Hula allows users to find a pre-verified clinic, get tested and submit a request to have the results delivered directly from your doctor to your phone. There's no way to alter the results, so once they are sent to your phone, you know that they're legit or not.
Hula also displays the amount of time since the users was last tested. The app will also allow users to review their experiences with each clinic. It'sa much-needed, tech cavvy conversation starter surrounding a topic Americans too often avoid.
"The Status quo is if you and I meet and you ask me if I've been tested, the instant response is, 'Of course I have, and I'm offended,'" said Ramin Bastani, founder and CEO of the app. Bastani told BetaBeat, "We want to bring transparency to the STD testing world."
The goal of the application is to encourage people to get treatment for diseases that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. Steering away from the idea that fear is the best way to get people tested, Hula focuses on providing safe sex as an incentive. Bastani believes in his method and says if fear worked, STD rates would already be much lower.
"I think we have the opportunity to make such a big difference here, and it's such a solvable thing." says Bastani.
Hula is already very popular in the LGBTQ ommunities and it's influence is only expected to expand.
Is this an app you'd feel comfortable trying? Do you think it will take the discomfort out of discussing your status? Let's discuss below.