Growth in websites for people who have incurable for STIs to meet
Online dating is a sector constantly on the rise – and there’s a growing number of niche sites out there so anybody can find their perfect match.
But for people with incurable STDs such as herpes and the HPV virus, telling potential partners about their condition can be daunting.
Now a new genre of sites catering for this group has been added to the online dating sector. Sites such as PositiveSingles, which gained 100,000 new members last year from around the world, and H-YPE are aimed directly at this group.
They work by adding age and sexual preference, followed by searching for people with similar sexually transmitted infections. People can write as much or as little about their condition as they like.
It’s hoped this will help people with incurable conditions who feel prospective partners will be put off or pre-judge them for ‘sleeping around’ if they find out.
Speaking to the BBC Magazine, Max, who set up H-YPE, said: ‘[Some people] feel like freaks, like lepers.
‘Close to 90 per cent [of the time], it depends on how you tell them. It’s about re-educating people [and] making it normalised.
‘If you are crying, telling them like it’s a life destroyer, they will it treat it like one.’
He added his site was a ‘necessary evil’ as stigma will always surround STDs.
The rise in these sites coincides with the increase in new cases of STDs. According to the Health Protection Agency there was a two per cent rise in new cases from 2010-11 and more than 100,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with genital herpes or HPV every year.