Dating can be difficult, especially when you’re living with herpes. Hey, we’re not judging. We’re just trying to frame a story about online dating websites for people living with sexually transmitted diseases as tactfully as we possibly can.
In all seriousness though, even STD-infected folk don’t want to be alone, and (we imagine) broaching the subject of sexual health with a new partner (outside of submitting a full medical history report on the first date) is probably quite difficult. That’s why there are a growing number of dating websites out there for people with incurable STDs.
Sites like H-YPE, H-Date and Positive Singles encourage potential users to re-enter the dating world with catchy slogans like “Plenty of Positive Fish” and “a seriously cool place to make friends with sometHing in common” (subtle!).
These sites mostly offer what you’ll find on any other dating site. You sign up, and you can then search for singles by age range, location, etc., though some of the sites actually let you search by specific STDs (some of the sites are herpes-specific, so we’re guessing it’s just assumed there).
“It’s like a herpetic Facebook,” said Max, the founder of H-YPE.
Most of the sites have one thing in common: The ultimate hope of eliminating the stigma and awkwardness of telling new partners about their STD status.
One anonymous user said that the idea of an STD dating site “brings it back to the basics of a relationship… do you like each other?” adding, “For some people it’s a life saver.”
But some critics say that the sites inadvertently reinforce the negative aspects of living with STDs.
“These sites can make people think ‘now I am a leper I need to find a leper to date’,” said Marion Nicholson, the director of a herpes support group.
What do you think? Are STD dating sites a positive or negative thing?