May 28, 2013
By Kira Hoffman
[caption id="attachment_1024" align="alignnone" width="300"]Man worried about STDs Where do I find true love if I have an STD?[/caption] Waiting at the doctor’s office for test results is a frightening ordeal for anyone. In the waiting room, many people may start to assume the worst, think of the future, or play out possible scenarios in their head as if their life is a Hollywood movie. These people may see their lives going one of two ways after the nurse gives them their results. #1: Their STD is curable, after taking the medication, they can resume their normal, day to day lives. #2: Their STD is not curable, it will affect them for the rest of their lives, creating numerous barriers and preventing lasting, loving relationships. In my previous blog posts I have discussed the ways in which stigma affects beliefs surrounding STDs. Although in retrospect, the waiting room experience may be viewed as a relief if one is diagnosed with a curable STI, it is important to understand that life-long STD’s such as Herpes can still be treated. As well, if you are diagnosed with an incurable STD, you can still have a life full of romantic love and good sex. Because the topic of STDs can be extremely difficult to broach with potential partners (see my previous article on stigma and shame) there are several dating sites available online that cater to individuals with STD’s. Online dating is a great way to interact with others and ‘break the ice’ before meeting someone in person. These STD-friendly dating sites allow those with incurable STD’s to connect with people who are in a similar situation. This can be especially helpful in erasing the stigma one may find when interacting with someone who doesn’t understand what it’s like to have an STD (although it is important to note that people with STD’s can/and do form loving and understanding connections with people who aren’t STD positive). Here is a list of dating sites built specifically for individuals living with STD’s:

Dating Site Options

1. The “Positive Singles” slogan is, “Stay Positive! Find Love, Support & Happiness”. The site emphasizes the fact that each member is “not alone”. Members can be heterosexual or homosexual and you can join whether you are living with a curable or incurable STD. The site is free to join, although you have to pay a fee if you would like to contact others on the site. [caption id="attachment_1019" align="alignnone" width="300"]Screenshot of Screenshot of[/caption]

2. “HMates” is a dating site specifically geared to individuals with Herpes and/or HPV. Members can be heterosexual or homosexual and when you create your account for free, you can choose to view other profiles located within a certain distance of yourself. The site is advertised as being “Norton Safe Web certified” and free to join, however to contact particular individuals you have to pay a monthly fee. [caption id="attachment_1020" align="alignnone" width="300"] screenshot screenshot[/caption]

3. Not specifically advertised as a dating site, “Genital Warts Patients” is a Social Networking site. The site is advertised as a “supportive online community”. Accounts also appear to be free. [caption id="attachment_1021" align="alignnone" width="300"] social network screenshot social network screenshot[/caption] If you have found yourself in a waiting room, contemplating your future based on test results, know that your potential for romantic and sexual relationships does not end with an incurable diagnosis. Dating sites and networking sites for people living with STD’s are always an option, and are definitely nothing to be ashamed about. They may even help you become more comfortable with your situation.