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It’s time to talk about herpes dating websites and how much I hate them.

These websites enable the self-segregation of the H community in a way that I believe contributes to our invisibility and inertia. Some of these websites claim to empower their customers.

Using online dating sites to find perfect matches is nothing new.

There are thousands of dating websites and apps on the internet but not many dating sites for people with herpes and STDs.

Testing the blood for antibodies against the virus can confirm a previous infection but will be negative in new infections.

The most effective method of avoiding genital infections is by avoiding vaginal, oral, and anal sex. Daily antiviral medication taken by someone who has the infection can also reduce spread.

Over time, episodes of active disease decrease in frequency and severity.

They are transmitted by direct contact with body fluids or lesions of an infected individual.

Let me be very clear: I will never endorse an STI dating site. STI dating services would make great hacking targets in an online landscape where vigilante justice is all the rage and people with STIs are unsympathetic victims (whaddup, Ashley Madison). But here’s the big, huge, important fucking reason I’ll never support a herpes dating service: these products contribute to herpes stigma.

A booming app industry in Silicon Valley means that new STI dating services pop up every few months, and a cursory Google search means that their marketing team, or their founder, or their intern, quickly discovers me. As time goes on and stigma lessens, there will be less of a demand for these services.

She wanted me to become a spokesperson, and when I refused, someone higher up in the food chain emailed me again. But then the same thing happened again with another STI dating site, and then another, and another. I don’t think any STI dating service is going to reinvent the wheel and be successful when so many have tried and failed in the past.

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