dating app STI
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Have an STI? There’s a Dating App For That (But We Can’t Promise You’ll Like It)

If you’re among the one in five Americans who have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), you might feel like your relationship prospects are limited – or even that your dating life is over. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, there’s a dating app – make that several – just for you.

Positive Singles, Meet People With Herpes, H Date, and HSV Singles are just some of the options on the dating app market for people with an STI.

The idea is that by using a dating app limited to other people with STIs, you skip over that awkward conversation about your diagnosis and the ways you need to protect yourself and can get right down to, well, you know, doing the thing that gave you the STI in the first place. But your experience on these apps might vary greatly, depending on who you are and what you’re looking for.

In an in-depth piece for BuzzFeed’s “It’s Brutal Out Here” column, several STI-positive daters spoke about their experiences with the sites. Some found the users to be overly aggressive, sending dozens of messages in pursuit of a partner, or stooping to the ol’ unsolicited pics of genitalia. Ironically, some of the sites also seem to be populated by people shrouded in shame, posting profile pics that didn’t include their faces.

“I would get a lot of first messages from people who wouldn’t even say hi, wouldn’t introduce themselves,” one user told BuzzFeed. “It would just be a really panicked message looking for validation and reassurance. I didn’t fit with them and they didn’t fit with me. We only had HSV in common.”

Another user had a completely different (better) experience. “I went on there to not feel judged,” she told BuzzFeed. “I think that’s probably a big factor as to why I never went on a lot of dates, because then I’d have to constantly disclose and get judged. But when I was on Positive Singles, I could just focus on if I liked this person or not.”

She even got engaged to the one person she met IRL from an app.

So there are happy endings (ahem), even after testing positive for an STI. But when it comes to using a dating app, you’re probably just as likely to be disappointed by the offerings on an STI-specific app as you are anywhere else. Maybe being single — and even celibate — isn’t so bad after all…

Cover Photo: FilippoBacci (Getty Images)