Dating Websites for People Living With STDs: Are They Worth It?
By Candace Y.A. Montague
December 19, 2013
So you hear health experts say all the time that knowing your status and disclosure are a few of the best ways to help stop the spread of HIV and other STDs. OK. You get that. What they don't address is how to overcome challenges that may come with having "the talk" with partners.
Dating, in general, generates questions. You're open for love and romance but you want to protect your feelings as well. Who do you trust? How will it turn out when you tell a potential mate that you have a virus? Many people with HIV and other STDs have turned to niche dating websites to help them find a date. These websites are specifically designed to practically eliminate the need to have "the talk" with a potential mate. But can you trust it? Maybe.
It can be tricky to figure out if a person behind an avatar is genuinely a good person or if they are someone with bad intentions. Proceed with caution. There are many single people in the world like you who want to date. There are many people like you who are apprehensive about new relationships, with and without an STD. PositiveSingles.com alone has made 60,000 matches. And with more than 110 million sexually transmitted infections among men and women in the United States, and there are 20 million new infections each year, there is a clear need for these kinds of websites to exist.
You must use common sense when using dating websites period. Specialized dating websites are just like any other site. You create a profile. Select a picture. Pay a fee. Engage in chats with people on line. And if you feel like it's going somewhere you make arrangements to meet. But be safe. Just like any other dating website, there are people who may mean you harm. It's hard to tell the difference.
I compiled some "best of" dos and don'ts for online dating from About.com, Huffington Post and Care2.com:
Dating with an STD is not easy but you can do it. And yes it can lead to a wonderful relationship. Consider trying a niche dating website along with other dating websites and see how it suits you. It may just lead to many happy returns.
D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner
Candace Y.A. Montague
Candace Y.A. Montague has been learning about HIV since 1988 (and she has the certificates from the American Red Cross to prove it). Health is a high priority to Candace because she believes that nothing can come of your life if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it. One of her two master's degrees is in Community Health Promotion and Education. Candace was inspired to act against HIV after seeing a documentary in 2008 about African-American women and HIV. She knew that writing was the best way for her to make a difference and help inform others. Candace is a native Washingtonian and covers HIV news all around D.C. She has covered fundraisers, motorcycle rides, town hall meetings, house balls, Capitol Hill press conferences, election campaigns and protests for The DC Examiner.com and emPower News Magazine.
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