VentureBeat (VB) (10.28.2013)
VentureBeat reported on a new online platform launched this week that allows sexually active people to get regular STD testing and share their verified STD results with partners. Luhu is a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)-compliant membership-based service aimed at those who want STD testing on a continued basis, not for people seeking a one-time test. The initial three-month membership investment costs $92, which includes the first round of testing, laboratory visit, and services. Additional months cost $10.
“While folks can go get a one-time test and tell someone that they tested negative for HIV, you’re trusting what that person is saying is true,” Luhu’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mike Rosen said. “However, you have to ask, ‘When was that test done, and who has that person been with since that test?’ By joining Luhu, you’re markedly lowering your risk of getting an STD, or giving one to someone else.”
Talking about sexual disease history can be difficult and this platform aims to remove the awkwardness of broaching the subject with partners. When a discussion does happen, a person cannot know for sure if his/her partner is being completely honest. Luhu has partnered with Quest Diagnostics, which runs more than 2,100 laboratories throughout the United States. Members make an appointment at a Quest location and can view their results after three days on Luhu.
Luhu provides STD result “badges” to members as a symbol of their testing status. Green indicates a member has tested clean; green with a star indicates six months of testing and healthy results; and amber indicates either a positive test or a gap in testing. Members have total control over who can see their test results. A partner has 24 hours to view results after the user invites them to look.
According to CDC estimates, the United States has more than 110 million reported STD cases, with 20 million new STDs diagnosed each year. Youth constitute one-half of these infections. Of the approximate 1.2 million Americans with HIV, 20 percent are unaware they have it.
More information can be found at www.myluhu.com.