Meeting people and dating in the age of technology is hard enough as it is. Having an STI can make it that much harder, and inclusive spaces are limited. People who have tested HIV positive may feel isolated and as if they cannot enter the dating world or sign up for dating apps, and that is simply not the case.
Since dating websites took off in the late 1990’s, there have been websites and dating apps created specifically for the HIV positive community, and there are safe space communities out there for you to disclose your status and find people to have a connection with online. These websites are working to provide those with STI’s a safe space to meet as well as spread awareness. Living with HIV does not define who you are, and they are working to break down the taboo surrounding this diagnosis.
If you are looking to get into the dating game and are living with HIV, there are a lot of options for you. While there are many websites and apps out there, not all of them have a good reputation. So, let’s take a look at the 5 best dating websites for HIV positive people.
One of the most popular websites to date for positive singles is positivesingles.com. This website has been around since 2001, and has become one of the go-to websites not just for dating, but is also a valuable resource for those who may have been recently diagnosed and are looking for information and management tips. PositiveSingles has over 2 million members and 200,000 active users every day.
This website does not only cater to the HIV community, but it is a safe space for people with other STI’s such as herpes and HPV to find others, as well. Once only a desktop website, there is now an app you can download onto your phone to get started. PositiveSingles requires you to add information about your STI so it can match you with similar people. The filter and search system allow you to be very specific to find what you’re looking for.
Originally a site for people with Herpes, MPWH has opened up to be more inclusive. Those with HIV can utilize the site to meet people online. The site not only advertises over 700,000 members, but you can stay anonymous until you are comfortable sharing your identity with another person.
The website also boasts having over 60,000 dating success stories, and has been helping people find matches since 2001. The website also has 15,000 active members a day with daily blog posts to share information and spread awareness. You can join the website completely for free.
With over 500,000 users, AidsSingle makes it safe and easy to find other POZ people to connect with. This website is specifically for those with AIDS, and users must be at least 18 years old. There is a free membership subscription, but the features are very limited. If you want full access to the website they have membership options including a 1 month for 29.95, 3 months for 59.95, or 6 months for 99.95.
Another website that may look daunting since it has not been updated in a while, but there is still a large active user base. Don’t judge a book by the cover when it comes to these websites.
Created in 1998, POZMatch has been a staple in the HIV dating community since the dawn of the dating website. The site is all inclusive, and it caters to all positive folks no matter their race, gender or sexuality. It has tons of information on the website to look through such as blog posts and research on STI’s, on top of being a great dating site. POZMatch has been working to strip the HIV diagnosis of all taboo and give those with a positive status a place to share their stories and meet like-minded people.
Not only is POZMatch great for dating, it is also a place to find other positive folks to form platonic relationships with. The website is free to use, but if you would like the ability to send someone an email you will have to pay for the subscription. POZMatch also does not require you to use your real name, so you can use a nickname for privacy.
eHarmony is a dating website that focuses only on serious relationships. Casual hookups from this site are unlikely. While this website isn’t designed specifically for people with HIV, it is so widely used that there are many communities that have formed across the platform. One of those groups is specifically people with STI’s.
With over 65 million users all over the world, eHarmony is one of the most trusted dating platforms out there. When setting up a profile, users can be as detailed as possible. One of the features users like most is the compatibility tab. This feature utilizes what you have added in your profile to match you with the best users for you, including your HIV status disclosure if you choose to list it. This website is NOT free, so in order to use it best you will have to pay for a subscription.
Datingsomeonewithhiv.com is another site specifically for those with a positive diagnosis. The site has been around since 2001, and it may look dated but the site still has around 15,000 active users a day. The site encourages the idea that living with HIV is no longer a taboo and you should be able to take your love life back and find connection with others who are going through the same journey as you.
Unlike some of the other sites that promote platonic relationships, this website is a place specifically for dating. They also have links to references to help you find communities and other websites to connect with people, as well.
OkCupid is not an HIV-only website, but it is one of the most popular online dating websites with over 50 million users all over the world. What makes OKCupid different from the other main stream dating apps is that there is an entire section for dating with STI’s.
OKCupid has long been considered the more unique of the main stream dating websites. While apps like Hinge and Tinder tend to market toward the heterosexual community, OKCupid advertises being an all-inclusive environment where everyone is welcome, and special search tools will help you find who you’re looking for instead of blindly swiping through everything the algorithm throws at you.
OKCupid has a very advanced search filter so you can find exactly who you’re looking for. Instead of having to sift through people, you can narrow it down to find someone quickly. The app also utilizes a questionnaire to help better match you with others during their own searches. It has long been considered a safe dating space for queer folks, as well.
Datingforpeoplewithstds.com advertises themselves at the most popular dating site for those with STD’s in the world. This site has been around since 2001, as well and is still used by 15,000 people a day. Whether you are living with HIV or other STI’s, you are welcome to utilize this website platform to meet someone and find a connection online.
Many of these websites look dated, but why fix what isn’t broken? You can also sign up for this website for free to check it out and see if it is for you. That’s the great thing about there being so many websites online to check out. If one doesn’t work for you, you can move right along to the next one.
Tips for Dating with HIV
Whether you have been newly diagnosed, or have been living POZ for a while but are ready to get back out in the dating world, there’s never a bad time to brush up on dating tips. It may take you a while to be ready to get back into the world of dating, but online dating will always be there for you when you’re ready.
It’s important to never forget that the most important person in your life should be you, and just because society may pressure you into thinking you should be dating at all times, that is not true. You must be ready to open yourself up to someone else, and sometimes that can take a while.
Disclosure is one of the hottest topics when it comes to HIV-positive dating. How and when do you tell a partner of your status? No matter what, it isn’t going to be easy to do. Typically, how you tell them will not make a difference. The person probably already has their opinion on dating someone living with HIV. Be prepared for a reaction. The most important rule of thumb is to always disclose your status to someone before you have sex, whether you use protection or not.
Generally, there are two options for disclosing. You either tell them before you go on a first date so they know right away, or you tell them after a few dates when you’re more comfortable. Again, they may already have a strong opinion on the subject so telling them up front will allow you to know it will not work out before progressing further.
If you are going to wait until you have been on a few dates, make sure to do it before you are put in a sexual situation. Tensions could be high and you may talk yourself out of saying something and put you both in a not great situation of having sex before you have told them your status. You should also make sure to tell the other person when you are both sober and of sound mind.
Your Status Doesn’t Define You
You may be living with HIV, but that is not who you are. When people are diagnosed, they may self-isolate and think they cannot continue living normally and doing things such as dating. Yes, it will probably hurt your confidence for a while and it may take work and a good support system to get you into a place to date. Don’t push yourself if you aren’t ready.
Practice Safe Sex
Just because you are living with HIV doesn’t mean you have to stop having sex. If you are dating someone that is not positive, do your research to find the safest options for you both to be safe during sex. Use a condom! Even if you both have HIV. It will keep you from contracting other STI’s.
When dating in any capacity, it is important to protect yourself. Always be aware. If you are using online dating apps, while they can be good at vetting people you still need to keep yourself safe.
- Do not provide personal information prior to meeting in person
- Don’t give out financial information or send anyone money
- Meet in public spaces for the first time
- Talk on the phone or do a video chat prior to meeting in person
- Tell someone where you are going when you meet them in person
- Do not go back to someone’s house on the first date
To sum it up, dating is hard and dating while living with HIV is even harder. It can feel isolating and lonely. Dating websites for people living with STI’s are working to shatter the taboo surrounding STI’s and help spread awareness and information for those who are newly diagnosed and don’t know what to do.
If it takes you a while to warm up to the idea of dating again, that is completely understandable. Don’t force yourself into it until you are sure you are ready. Talk to friends and other support if you are feeling unsure.
When online dating, protect yourself, and remember that living with HIV doesn’t define you. You are worth of love, sex and a relationship. Remember that, and happy dating.