Okay, so we have dating sites now, hurray! Apps that are specific to the community, apps that are inclusive of the community, and then there’s this. A dating app specifically meant for HIV positive people. And we are not sure how to feel about it.
At first take, it might seem like a great idea. People who are STI or STD positive can find people who understand their situation, physical health, mental health, and emotional requirements. Similarities help a relationship and strengthen the bond between the individuals involved.
But do you think it would be a tad bit difficult to bond over this? Is that something we need today? Clearly, the dating site aims to remove the stigma around sexually transmitted diseases while probably finding someone new. Someone who gets what you’re going through. But are dating sites the way forward?
A new dating site called MeetPositives is out now. And it is dedicated to people with STI/STDs specifically. And according to their press release, “The main goal of Meetpositives.com is to give positive LGBT singles a chance to date again. Our members join because they want to find and date others who have experienced the same struggles.”
The stigma around STI/STDs still runs pretty deep. We still face hiccups to understand the intensity of the situation despite having many celebrities come out and speak about the disease and infections. Even today.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, there are around 110 million Americans who presently live with STI or STDs. And over 20 million new viral infections rise every year. And Queerty also explains that 50% of these infections affect people between the ages of 15-24 approximately. Among which the most common ones are Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Hepatitis B, Genital Herpes, Syphilis, HIV, and HPV.
Many educated and uneducated people are unaware of a lot of sexually transmitted diseases. Not only in the United States, but countries across also have to seriously start paying heed to safe sex practices and disease and infection control. Since talking about sex in itself is a taboo, many people don’t know how diseases spread and don’t know how to take care of it. So apart from providing a dating platform, maybe more sites like MeetPositives can help begin talks of STD/STIs on a more international scale. And even if you don’t find someone to be romantically involved, you can still develop a support system.
Dating according to your STD/STI preferences:
When you head onto MeetPositives.com, you will be greeted with sufficient information to get you going. “STD infections affect everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, however, gays are at a greater risk of getting infected, especially when it comes to HIV.” They also go onto address the issue with a certain sense of sensitivity.
“Statistics shows that HIV and syphilis infections among the LGBT community are on the rise, which is why it’s important that they become educated on these facts. People with multiple sex partners and those who engage in sexual activity without protection are at the greatest risk.”
And like most dating sites, this one also allows you to choose your preferences too. Apart from gender identity, age, area or location, MeetPositives also lets you choose the type of STI/STD individuals you choose to interact with. MeetPositives assures a wholesome approach to dating people with STIs and STDs. They provide a wealth of knowledge about health and forums for the members to discuss their issues.
The site says, “If you are infected, you are not alone. The reason why Meet Positives exists is to ensure that you meet other interesting positive singles. Those understand your situation and are willing to spend their time with you.”
The stigma around sexual diseases will persist as long as the stigma around sex persists.
At least that is the case in most countries. In the USA, several states have begun to ease up on medical procedures and medicines that help take care of STIs or STDs. Although, the effort is not spread nation-wide. But MeetPostives does what every dating site allows you to do. Go online, chat up with a few strangers or friends who share more than sexual choices. And even though being on MeetPositives could construct a stigma, it also allows for a sense of liberation.
Dating sites centric to LGBT+ individuals are plenty. Whether it is Grindr in the USA or Delta in India, we have a wide-spread variety to pick from. And maybe, just maybe, MeetPositives will help people with STIs and STDs build a stronger network thus fighting the stigma around it. And now more people will the platform to voice their issues. They can discuss solutions as a less serious disease or problem and see it is an occurrence that has happened to many people like themselves.
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