Let’s talk about sex. Whether they intend to be or not, a lot of dating apps act more like hook up services. In some cases, it’s almost an on-demand thing. That’s all good and fun, but it’s damn unsafe. Think about it: you’re about to get as intimate as imaginable with a person you know nothing about. You want to stay safe and have a good time, and to avoid those nasty hook ups that stick with you for the wrong reasons, there’s Hula.
Hula is an app that encourages sex the safe way and can help you find STD testing. Yep. There’s an app for this. Hula is here to help you protect yourself from and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. It’s not pretty, but someone has to do it. After all, the Center for Disease Control says nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in the United States.
Get yourself tested
So, you’ve found the perfect person to practice your bedroom moves with. You’re both open-minded, into one another, and all that. You’ve done your business with one another and it was fantastic, lovely, and a little bit weird for a minute there, but you both kept it together. But now it’s been a few days and you feel terrible. This is when you fire up Hula. Or, you know, you could boot it up before you ever have sex, too.
The light-hearted app will point you to the nearest health clinic where you can get tested for STIs. Locations are displayed on a map, along with hours of operation and what the clinic can test for. Part of the purpose of Hula is to raise awareness about STIs and the testing process, and it accomplishes that mission. We had no idea where testing centers near us were, but it turns out there’s quite a few options.
A social network for sexual cleanliness
If you want to have sex with someone, but want to know they’re clean (or vice versa), Hula can help. It has a built-in social network that will share your verified STD results with whoever you want. Hula’s experts decode the language and turn your STD life into a simple “positive” or “negative.”
To make a verified profile, you’ll have to fill out paperwork to allow your personal medical information to be shared. This obviously raises some concerns. Privacy is important, especially for something as intimate as your sexual history. Though the app claims to keep the information about your profile private and we didn’t notice anything that would make us question that claim, but who knows. If we suddenly start to notice banner ads for strange creams and antidotes, we’ll start to wonder.
You can share your results with your sexual partner, proving that you have a clean bill of health. But if you really want to, you can also send it off to others. If you test positive for anything, sharing is disabled. But you can turn that back on if you’re okay with what you have.
This app is great, and we’re all better knowing whether the person we’re about to sleep with has Gonorrhea, but do make sure you’re practicing safe sex. No matter how unpleasant or inconvenient contraceptives are, they will still feel considerably better than a burning sensation on your crotch. Even though Hula works well and keeps the mood pretty easy-going, it cannot remove the uncomfortable feeling of sitting in the health clinic and waiting for your test results. Hula is a great app that you’ll probably want to use as rarely as possible.
(Hula is available for free on iOS devices.)