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Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Luhu?
- How does Luhu work?
- Can you give me a real-life scenario of how Luhu works?
- Why does everybody need to know their STD health status?
- Who should use Luhu and get tested regularly?
- How frequently should I get tested?
- Where do I get tested?
- Is all testing done with a blood draw?
- How do I maintain my anonymity?
- How many people can view my results?
- What if I test positive for an STD?
- If I test positive, will everybody on Luhu know that? How do I protect my privacy?
- How quickly are my results posted to my secure account?
- Why does Luhu emphasize HIV, Hepatitis C and Syphilis? And what if I want other STD tests performed?
- Why isn’t Herpes one of your core recommended tests?
- Why don't you test for HPV?
- What are the luhu badges all about? What do they mean?
- Does using Luhu mean I don’t have to use safe sexual practices?
- If I do all my scheduled Luhu testing, can I still contract a sexually transmitted disease?
- What do the green check marks and red x's mean?
- How will I know it’s time to get tested again?
- What if I don’t get my next round of testing done within my 90-day window? What happens then?
- How do I know the other person’s lab test results are verified and true?
- If I show someone my results, does that mean they will always have access to them?
- Why should I pay for Luhu? Can’t I get free testing at my local health clinic?
- Are there other websites that provide a similar service? Why should I use Luhu?
- Can’t a really smart hacker get into the results and change them? Are they really secure?
- What if I don’t have a smartphone?
- Can I store my contact history and other information on my computer or mobile device?
- What if I’m scared of needles?
- Where can I get free STD testing?
It’s 2 nouns and a verb.
Noun 1: It’s a service where a group of individuals (members) have committed to getting regularly tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) especially HIV 1 and 2, Hepatitis C and Syphilis.
Secure and authenticated lab results are delivered to community members by the ordering provider. The results can then be shared at their discretion with other members with whom they may be considering an intimate relationship.
We help take away the uncertainty we may have when we meet someone, as well as the awkwardness of trying to find out: “How do I know this person is truly disease-free?”
We are for EVERYONE—heterosexual, gay, bisexual, transgender, the suburban neighbor to the adult film star; we have to be, because we are committed to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS and other dangerous diseases. Viruses don’t discriminate based upon sexual orientation or occupation.
Noun 2: It is the message that one can send to another in which the lab test results are shared (e.g.” I just sent you a Luhu.”)
Verb: The act of sending a Luhu, e.g. Hey, you're cute! Why don’t you Luhu me!”
If you're 18 or older, join Luhu on this website! In most states, you'll pay one price for your first three months of membership as well as your first round of testing (HIV, Hepatitis C and Syphilis. You can also take advantage of other, additional STD tests if you want for additional fees.) Then make your lab appointment to get your blood drawn. Your test results will automatically flow back into your secure "My Health" lockbox in approximately three days (though some tests may take longer) after you keep your appointment. While you're waiting, you can set up your Profile, search for other Luhu members and take a look around the site.
Once you receive your results, you'll know your sexual health status, and have the opportunity, if you so choose, to find others on the Luhu platform, and securely share those results. Or, you can keep completely private. It's all up to you!
For more information, please take a look at the “Our Badges” section of this website!
Please note: We're sorry, but we cannot offer the Luhu service to anyone who is enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid.
For New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island residents: After you join Luhu and make your lab visit, you will receive an invoice for the testing services, though some locations may require payment at the time of service when you arrive at the lab for your blood draw - you may not pay for the lab testing on our website!
Bill meets Sally in the library. After getting to know each other and discovering their mutual passion for metaphysical poetry, Sally and Bill decide they like each other and may want to get together sexually. Sally asks Bill, “Are you on Luhu?” Bill says, “Why, of course. Who wouldn’t be? They’d be crazy not to.” Sally says, “Great, Luhu me.” Bill pulls out his smartphone. He logs onto www.myluhu.com. He then asks Sally, “What’s your screen name?” Sally says, “It’s Sally52489”.
Bill clicks the Luhu button, types in “Sally52489” and presses “ Send Luhu”. Immediately, Bill’s Luhu containing his test results and identifying information is available to Sally.
Sally then pulls out her smart phone, and on her menu of recent activity, she can see “1 new Luhu”.
On her screen is a button that says, “View new Luhu.” She presses it, and what appears is “Bill23456”. She clicks that, and Bill’s results page appears, along with his personally identifying information - real first name and last initial, date of birth and zip code. This is available to Sally for 24 hours, whether it is viewed or not. At that point, Bill’s results and identity become unavailable to her unless Bill Luhu’s her again. Once Sally gets his Luhu (a message containing test results), she can then click “Backatcha” and Bill receives her results just as she received his.
When you use Luhu, you become a member of a community that has decided to take its sexual health seriously. The key is getting everyone with whom we come into close contact to also take their sexual health seriously, so that none of us is likely to spread disease to anyone else. We want to stop the spread of dangerous and deadly diseases among everyone who is potentially sexually active. (Did you know that of the roughly 1.2 million people in the U.S. who are infected with HIV, 20% of them don’t even know they have it? And that 80% of those who know they have HIV don’t have their virus levels under control? That means there are at least about a quarter of a million Americans who might be unknowingly spreading HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. And consider this: according to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), even now, in 2013, an American contracts HIV every 9½ minutes.)
As the numbers of individuals who have a disease go down, the likelihood of anyone else getting sick also diminishes.
We ALL need to know and be responsible for our HIV status and overall sexual health. Every person who is now, or who may choose to become sexually active needs to be regularly tested for HIV, Hepatitis C and Syphilis.
The very best way to stay healthy and disease-free is to get tested every 30 days, and for everyone with whom you come in intimate contact to do the same. However, we realize that schedule is not for everyone, so we certify you with a Green Badge if you keep your recommended testing up every 90 days. For more info, click here: www.myluhu.com/what-does-luhu-test-for
The more consecutive months we are disease-free, the greater the validity and reliability of that result, especially when we have a full six months of consecutive testing while being intimate with only those who do the same.
We have formed a strategic alliance with Quest Diagnostics, the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services. Quest provides a specialized menu of quality, innovative, advanced clinical laboratory testing for sexually transmitted infections and diseases, including HIV. It also operates about 2,100 service centers across the United States. Patients may conveniently provide specimens for testing at these locations. Just schedule your appointment on our website and find the location closest to you!
All testing is done by drawing blood except if you choose to be tested for Chlamydia or Gonorrhea. These are tested using a urine sample.
Luhu utilizes screen names, much like other subscription web-based services do. There is no personally identifying information on the public parts of the website or app. The individuals with whom you choose to be in contact will only see your screen name, and if you contact them and decide to share your test results, only then will they be able to see your first name, last initial, date of birth and zip code – all of which is included for security and verification reasons. No real names or contact information are ever shown otherwise.
You can share your results with as many (or as few) other subscribers as you wish, and as often as you like. But each time you send a Luhu (meaning a message containing your test results) the person you share with only gets to see them one time, and if that person doesn't open the Luhu within 24 hours, it will disappear. If he or she navigates away from your results, they will disappear, and you will have to re-send them for the person to be able to look again.
If you test positive for HIV, Hepatitis C, or Syphilis, you will immediately be contacted by a member of our counseling staff to discuss your next steps. Your profile will be paused from further testing and sharing via Luhu. Positive results on other a la carte tests (such as Gonorrhea, Herpes and Hepatitis B) do not result in pausing of the profile; however, you will see a red “X” beside those results, instead of a green checkmark. Anyone to whom you send a Luhu will see the red “X” notation. It means that you need to get treated, and then get retested, get a “negative” result, and the badge and checkmark for that test will turn green again.
It is possible to resume use of the platform with treatment for Hepatitis C and Syphilis, for which cure is possible.
After confirmation tests show successful treatment and a negative result, you will receive a letter signed by the physician on his or her letterhead with copies of appropriate follow up testing included. This information will be sent to Luhu and evaluated by our Chief Medical Officer. The Medical Officer will, if needed, have a conversation with the physician. If you are confirmed to be disease-free, you will be able to resume use of the Luhu platform.
No one on Luhu but you, the physician or provider that ordered your testing and our medical staff will know that a positive test occurred. For those who test positive for HIV, Hepatitis C, or Syphilis, the membership is paused from access and sharing, and an "information not found" message will appear.
In the case of Hepatitis C and Syphilis -- when medical treatment is successfully completed and proven by re-testing, the member profile can come back "live". In the case of a proven HIV infection, the membership will remain paused for now. An infection for a less serious condition, such as Chlamydia, for example, will be represented on the results page as a red X. Successful treatment and successful re-testing can make the red X turn back into a green check mark, meaning "all clear!"
All three core recommended tests (HIV, Hepatitis C, and Syphilis) must be negative (disease free) for subscribers to get the Green Checkmarks, and to be able to use Luhu.
Your results will typically appear within three business days of your testing. So, if you get tested Monday morning, you will likely see your results by Thursday at the end of business. With some testing, it is possible it may take a bit longer than that.
We emphasize HIV, Hepatitis C and Syphilis because these are the sexually transmitted diseases that are the most life threatening and life changing. You may elect to test for other STD’s as often as you wish. You simply order them when ordering your regular testing on the site, (or, you can order them at any other time as well) and these additional tests will be done using the same, single blood draw.
We offer herpes testing in our a la carte menu, but please note:
At present, routine screening for HSV-2 (herpes) is not recommended because there may be a relatively high false positive rate in low risk populations. In other words, a person without the disease has a good chance of testing positive with the current test available, making it overall unreliable.
We recommend you discuss with your physician before you order this test with us. And, remember, if you take the test, the results, whatever they turn out to be, must be published to you. And if you choose to share your results, ALL results will be shared, including a potentially inaccurate herpes test result.
Quoting from U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
There is no general HPV test for men or women to check one's overall 'HPV status'. For women age 30 and over, a Pap test to check for signs of cervical cancer is administered by a physician in a healthcare setting.
Here's a link to more complete info on the CDC website: www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm
No! You should always practice safe sex!
Yes, you can still contract a sexually transmitted disease. However regular, ongoing testing in conjunction with using only safe sex practices is the best way to make sure you stay healthy and disease-free. Nothing short of total abstinence is completely guaranteed to prevent the potential spread of STD’s.
Green check marks show that you received a "negative" test result (meaning you're disease-free) for whatever test and date it represents. The red X means you tested positive for a given infection. However, If you test positive for HIV, Hepatitis C or Syphilis, no one will see a red X. Your profile will be hidden, and you will receive the news from a live member of our counseling staff. A non life-threatening infection such as Chlamydia will be represented by a red X. Successful treatment and follow-up testing that proves you are again disease-free will make the red X turn into a green check mark once again.
Your "My Health" page, which is a secure lockbox of test results has a day counter for your convenience, and will let you know when your next testing is due. Also, you will receive notifications via email as your time for new testing approaches. It is then up to you to select what tests you want to take and to schedule your draw appointment. We help you remember what tests we recommend you take, and when, but frequency of testing and which ones you choose to take is ultimately up to you.
You will be sent a reminder that you are due for a new round of testing, and your previously green badge will turn amber. This means you were previously tested and found to be disease-free, but that it’s now past time to get tested again. (The dates and results of your previous testing rounds will still be visible to you and anyone with whom you choose to share.) Plus, you will see a day counter showing when your next testing should take place on your "My Health" page which is where your test results are. It's an easy way to keep track of when it's time to test again.
Once you get a new round of tests and are shown to be all clear, your amber badge will once again turn green. Please note – if you had achieved the Gold Star Badge for six consecutive months of negative testing, you will have to start over with the plain green badge!
The identity of everyone on the Luhu platform has been verified (as has yours!) at signup and then again by a live human being at the lab each time they are tested, using one of the official government-issued identifications we require (meaning, Driver's License, non-Driver State-issued ID, Passport, Military ID).
Additionally, when you receive a Luhu (which means a message that includes test results), the sending person's identifying information is included there: his or her first name and last initial, date of birth and zip code. And the same goes for you: when you send a Luhu to someone, your identifying information will be included in that message.
Absolutely not. When you choose to share your test results with another person, you are giving them a one-time only look. Once your test results have been viewed by someone else in a Luhu, they "expire" and stop being visible. Or, if the Luhu with your test results is not opened and viewed by the other person, they "expire" in 24 hours and stop being visible. If they want to see your results again, either immediately or at some future, only you can allow them to do so.
Yes, you can free testing at many locations, and we think that is a good thing! One can even purchase a take home test, though these are not as accurate as a laboratory blood or urine test. However, while you would know that YOUR tests are accurate and up to date, with other services or a home test, one doesn’t know for sure that lab results others have posted are truly what they report.
Also, Luhu is a regular testing program. Everyone on the platform has committed to regular testing, which says they are being mindful of regularly proving to themselves and others that they are disease-free, and also making a conscious decision to have relationships with those who are like-minded. It is via our platform that these results can be securely shared. Doing “one-off” testing is better than nothing, but it is one look at yourself at one moment in time. Our lives, and our sexual lives, continue. Thus, testing needs to continue. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
While there are other websites that provide STD testing (as well as home testing kits) no other company can provide you with the same safety, secure sharing and affordable price as Luhu.
Your test results and personal information are as secure as they would be with your bank – which is state of the art. Everything in your profile and lockbox is encrypted using all current best practices.
However we would be foolish to say hacking into Luhu by some genius hackers is impossible – even government websites and servers can potentially be hacked! But there’s still good news: even if they could, only your good health results would appear. (And we do not keep your credit card information on our servers!)
Only people who are disease-free for the three essential tests (HIV, Hepatitis C, and Syphilis) will be on our platform, so all information sent to an individual and which is potentially share-able shows a negative result for these tests. It is possible, if hacked, that one could see, for example, a positive Chlamydia or Gonorrhea test; but these can be treated and cured. Please read more on the issues surrounding all the conditions we test for on our homepage under “Why luhu – What Does luhu Test For?”
You can access your results from any computer or other device which has Internet connectivity.
No, for security reasons. All contact information, test results and messaging is stored on the website servers, and not pushed to the individual’s computer or mobile device.
The people at the labs who draw your blood samples are professionals with amazing levels of skill and experience… and the needles are not particularly big or scary. You will feel very little discomfort, (actually, in many cases, you won’t feel anything!) and it just takes a moment or two!