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New STD-Sharing App Helps Online Daters Get Laid...Responsibly

Hula promotes safe sex by encouraging users to spread the love, not diseases.

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Such a system is obviously not foolproof, particularly if personal sexual health records end up in the wrong hands or leaked across Facebook and other social media platforms for the world to see.

However, Bastani says in the digital dating world, it is increasingly becoming the norm for people to self-report their STD results on numerous dating apps such as okcupid. In any event, the user has strict control over what information is shared.

“We are trying to protect people’s privacy and enable them to make health decisions based on real-time data. Users have the ability to reveal their own information at their freedom or keep it completely anonymous, including their real name,” he said.

This week, Hula is expected to partner with Mister, a dating app for gay men and bisexuals to encourage users to get tested for HIV. When users launch the Mister app, they will be pointed to Hula to find testing facilities in the area.

“We’re in a position to help educate the community, and we should use it. The gay mobile app has become one of the primary ways gay men, particularly younger gay men, connect with one another. We need to do all we can to make sure that they are making informed choices about their partners and their health, Carl Sandler, CEO of Mister said in a press release.

The collaboration is intended to get dating apps up to speed with public health in an effort to make the STD discussion part of the dating experience through a radically different approach to prevention. Such a move is welcomed by those who dabble in the online dating scene.

While Hula recognizes that a negative test result is not a guarantee that a person is STD-free, the app is certainly a step in the right direction in providing a platform for people to be able to discuss sexual health freely and make better-informed decisions about their health. After all, as Hula declares, it’s better to spread the love, than spread diseases. 

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.


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