On mainstream dating Web sites, such as Plenty of Fish, 27-year-old Canadian John Anderson says he’s faced rejection since contracting herpes.
But he says he’s found a safe space with these STI-friendly sites.
I find people seek romantic relationships instead of friendships to avoid that transitory feeling, and also to feel emotionally safer.
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But dating sites such as HIVNet, a community for people living with HIV that launched in 2001, are trying to reduce the stigma.
“It was started for purely selfish reasons,” the site’s founder, Rick Burton, who is HIV-positive, tells Vice.
Picking from some of the roughly 200,000 verified Twitter users also doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guaranteed to date a celebrity — or even someone who’s internet famous.
Case in point: More than 70 percent of men say they’d dump an HIV-positive partner, according to a 2017 study by online doctor service Dr Ed.
“The disclosure is stressful in the beginning, but then becomes almost empowering,” Anderson tells Vice.
“You are with people who have been through exactly what you are going through and know exactly how you feel .
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