If you have STIs or STDs like Herpes, HPV (Genital Warts), HIV, Sexually Transmitted Hepatitis, Chlamydia, Thrush, Syphilis, or Gonorrhoea and would like to meet someone with a similar infection, possibly leading to love and affection there are sensitive on-line dating agencies just for you. These services are reviewed here.
I like to review a broad spectrum of important risk subjects on this site, both business and personal. Today I am going to focus more on the personal risk area – specifically STIs or Sexually Transmitted Infections.
We are all aware of HIV and the dramatic number of victims of this terrible disease, particularly in the poorer parts of the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that in 2012 there were 35.3 million adults and children living with HIV or Aids of which at least 25 million were in Sub-Saharan Africa. In North America there were approximately 1.3 million people with HIV and in Western and Central Europe the number was 860,000.
According to the WHO more than 1 million people acquire an STI every day. Each year about 500 million people become ill with one of the four treatable STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis.
More than 530 million people have the virus that causes genital herpes (herpes simplex virus 2) and more than 290 million women have a HPV (human papillomavirus) infection. Most of us recognise these virus infections as sexually transmitted cold sores or warts.
STIs can be caused by over 30 different bacteria, viruses and other parasites through sexual contact (vaginal, anal and oral sex). Some of them are spread by skin to skin contact but infection is also possible without sex through contaminated blood products or tissue transfers.
Sometimes an STI does not cause easily recognisable symptoms. When it does the term STD (sexually transmitted disease) is often used. Common symptoms include vaginal discharge, urethral discharge in men (unusual fluids coming out of the hole in the middle of the penis), genital ulcers and abdominal pain.
In addition to the four curable infections mentioned above there are four other common viral STIs which are incurable although their impact may be mitigated or modulated by treatment. These are hepatitis B, herpes, HIV and HPV. If you are interested in more detailed WHO information on STIs please check their site here.
In later articles I intend to address some of the issues relating to these diseases in the developing countries. In the developed world there are, generally speaking, good medical support services to address the physiological aspects of the diseases. These are available through your personal physician or local STD clinics, and there is a lot of generic information available on-line (for example through the UK National Health Service on-line Frequently Asked Questions service available here).
Health organisations can also address some of the psychological aspects of sexually transmitted infections. However there are now a number of other on-line organisations developing services to help STI sufferers get something which can otherwise prove to be a challenge – a partner. These are the STI or STD dating services.
The global statistics provided above indicate that market for such services is potentially huge. Just in the UK there were about a half a million new STI cases diagnosed in 2012. More than 90,000 people had HIV and one in two people under 25 who were tested proved positive for chlamydia. According to a recent report in the UK newspaper the Telegraph (Feb 14th 2014): one in four students in the UK catch a STI during their first year in university, three quarters of sexually active women contract HPV during their lifetime and by the age of 30 half the population will have contracted HSV-1 (and 25% of those who are sexually active will have HSV-2).
Therefore in an increasingly ‘inclusive’ world there is an important niche marketing opportunity for these STD based on-line dating services. Generally speaking it is good to get questions like ‘have you got herpes darling?‘ out of the way at the beginning of a relationship rather than casually mentioning it at the post passion breakfast table. These sites get this important partner STD profiling data as part of their new client registration processes.
Typically, rather than simply asking whether you have blue eyes or like horse riding they have a drop down menu where you can declare your interest in finding a partner with one of the following STDs:
- HSV 1 (cold sore)
- HSV 1 (genital sore)
- HSV 2 (genital sore)
- Herpes (not sure which)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Other not listed STI
I am not sure what you do if you have more than one? Typically the sites will then provide you with photos of people in your area satisfying your selected STD preference.
Some of the sites appreciate that their clients may be sensitive to the idea of logging into a site (say at work or in the coffee shop) which has ‘Herpes‘ written all over it. So once you have registered they provide access to a more neutral portal without any overt STD references on screen. One site claims to be run by people with STDs to help provide potential clients with more confidence in what they can expect (“Don’t worry dear, we’ve all had it“).
There is a bit of a debate about the positive and negative aspects of this service. On the one hand they provide peer support services and guidance (e.g. Herpes Parties, STD Gatherings and STD Seminars) and transparent access to friends and possibly lovers with similar sexually transmitted infections. There is another view that the existence of such ‘confidential’ services might actually encourage the stigmatisation of having an STD. Perhaps society should just find a way for people to be more open in public about their sexually transmitted diseases.
Whatever your view it would appear from the membership statistics published by the sites that they have a large number of people who consider they are providing a useful service. For readers who might be interested in looking at some of the services on offer here are a few links (Please note I do not get a cut! This is just part of the service http://www.chrisduggleby.com provides to regular visitors):
PositiveSingles (You Are Not Alone – Start Dating Again)
HerpesDatingOnline.co.uk (Dating Site For Singles with Herpes)
UKHerpesDating H-YPE (Herpes And HPV Dating Set Amongst A Real Sense Of Community and Support)
Happy Dating – but remember to always seek medical advice it you think you might have an STD! ChrisDuggleby.com encourages safe, protected sex at all times – don’t take unnecessary risks with your body (or your partner’s).
If you found this article interesting you might find some of my other recent reviews worth a read. Just click on the titles below:
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The above article was prepared to help with the personal risks faced by people with STIs or STDs like Herpes, HPV (Genital Warts), HIV, Sexually Transmitted Hepatitis, Chlamydia, Thrush, Syphilis, or Gonorrhoea. It introduced online STI or STD dating services (e.g. Herpes Dating) to help sufferers meet people with similar infections, possibly leading to love and affection.