Reviewed By: Dr. Kurt Kloss, MD
Last Reviewed Date: Oct 09, 2018
Last Modified Date: Oct 09, 2018
Published Date: Mar 09, 2018
Are you living with a life-long STD (sexually transmitted disease)? If so, you should know is that you are not alone. Far from it in fact. STD cases are on the rise. That said, if you are single, your situation does not necessarily mean you have to stay that way for life. Many people with STDs are still active in the dating scene, often with the aid of STD dating apps that connect them with other adults who are in the same boat. While these kinds of apps do provide opportunities for people who have tested positive to remain socially active, these apps should be approached with caution and in some cases avoided. Here are five of the top STD dating apps and online communities available today.
Recommended STD Dating Apps
MPWH stands for “Meet People With Herpes,” and is part of an online platform, including a traditional website, blogs and forums, that was launched in 2001. It connects users to an established community created for individuals living with genital and/or oral herpes. They are billed as the number one and original Herpes dating community. The app offers people diagnosed with this life-long STD opportunities to meet other single adults for dating, romance, friendship and/or support in a secure and private environment. Askmen.com called it one of the top three dating apps for people with STDs.
The community includes advice, forums, member blogs as well as dating apps for either iPhone or Android. Similar to mainstream dating apps, users can meet up anonymously with other members by searching for people with similar interests and 'swiping' through profiles to find their perfect match. The app is free and they offer a limited free membership which allows you to create a profile that is visible to paid members. All members are also able to send "winks" for free. These are quick oneliners that let another member know that you are interested. For more access to the community, members must upgrade to the Gold option which requires a monthly fee.
Only Gold members in good standing can actually initiate contact with people they would like to date. The price for a Gold membership varies between $16.00 per month and $30.00 per month depending on the length of the membership purchased. You can cancel your membership and delete your profile although MPWH will hold your information for 2 years after which it is permanently deleted from their database. This is a great feature and if you are considering signing up for any kind of dating app, be sure that deleting your information is an option. MPWH is an active community where people with Herpes can find friends and maybe even dates and is one of the few we would recommend.
This online dating app is designed for people diagnosed with any short or long-term STD. It is user-friendly, private and extremely interactive, and offers a supportive community for STD positive individuals. The app also features a live counselor to answer questions about STDs and other topics, as well as a dating advisor to assist users as they explore the community and make connections. Like MPWH, the PositiveSingles app is part of a larger platform that includes a traditional website, accessible via PC or mobile devices.
Positivesingles is owned by Successful Match who has ties to one of the oldest online STD dating platform sites; pozmatch.com which proudly states it has been in operation since 1998. They also operate a number of other dating apps and sites including the popular herpesforum.net for those who prefer to go old school with online dating.
Based on the fact that they are now more open about data privacy, we would give PositiveSingles high marks among the STD dating apps available but recommend that you read the Terms and Conditions of any online app carefully to make sure you are comfortable with sharing information with them. PositiveSingles is available on both the App store and Google Play.
Popular STD Dating Apps to Avoid
This app is specifically designed for HIV positive individuals who are ready to move past their diagnosis to continue their lives and find love and support. This community offers some social media features, along with a feature that provides suggestions on potential matched based upon user locations.
The app is advertised as a gay dating app but in fact, they accept people from all sexual persuasions who are HIV positive. It is a relative newcomer to the market but is becoming very popular. So far, it is only available on the Apple App Store but they promise to expand to Android soon.
Hzone has also had problems with community security. In 2014, they were advised that there had been a data breach on their site. Their reaction to the problem was to deny that it occurred and threaten the security experts with an STD infection. The fact that their main site is still not secure indicates that they still do not take security as seriously as they should. As a result, this is not a dating app that we would recommend.
STD Friends is open to anyone with an STD or even people without STDs. The app is less popular than MPWH and PositiveSingles but it does have good ratings on Google Play. So far it is not available on the Apple App Store. It is free to browse the community and they promise not to share your information with anyone. However, like Hzone, the community site is not secure so be careful what information is entered there. Before letting you browse the site, they do ask for some information - the most sensitive being the type of STD you have. That said, they claim they have never had any problems with data being shared without member knowledge.
Reviews on the site are mixed. Recent users have complained of not being able to find anyone to chat with or problems communicating with support. Before signing up, check to make sure these issues have been resolved. Given the fact that the site is not secure and the spotty reviews, this is also an app that we would not recommend.
While there are other apps available, most are either subsidiaries of one of these, appear to not be active any more or have extremely bad reviews so we have not covered them here.
STD Dating Platform
If you are interested in communicating without using an app, there is a very respected and well-established STD dating platform for people who are HIV positive with a mobile friendly website.
POZ Personals caters to people who are HIV positive helping them meet others in their community in similar circumstances. Before registering, they give you an estimate of how many people in your region match up with what you are seeking. The site is secure so your information should be as well. Testimonials from members claim they have been successful in finding companionship. POZ Personals are also active on social media. Like other sites, they feature a free option and a premium paid option. The paid option includes (among other things):
- Information about people who have viewed your profile
- Saved search information
- Blocking features
- Captcha free messages
- Top Ranking in Searches
The paid option is relatively inexpensive running from about $4.00 per month for a yearly membership and $10.00 per month for just one month. The FAQ section on the site is very extensive and clearly answers most questions. In particular, it is easy to cancel your profile if you choose and it will be deleted.
Online STD Dating Tips
Dating apps have become extremely popular and are becoming the number one way that singles meet in the Smartphone age. But with the rise in popularity of dating apps, we have also seen an associated rise in STD infections. Traditional dating apps have struggled to address this issue by offering STD testing or special filters allowing users to identify their status but these initiatives have not been very successful. For someone who is has been infected with an incurable STD, dating apps pose a particular problem. STD dating apps or other such solutions would seem to be a good solution to the problem.
The STD dating apps we have discussed here are just a few of the ones that you will find available today. The ever-growing number of these apps signals a growing awareness, acceptance and support of the increasing number of people living with STDs. However, most of the STD dating apps we reviewed had quite a few shortcomings. Before signing up and engaging with any of these kinds of communities, we would recommend taking these steps:
- Read the Terms and Conditions paying attention to how the community handles inappropriate behavior.
- Read reviews and success stories in the App Store or Google Play as well as researching online in search engines to see what people are saying about the community as far as activity and success. Make sure they have members in your area.
- Get tested for STDs before engaging in any activity and make sure any potential partner is tested as well. Just because other members are already infected with HIV or Herpes doesn't mean that they can't also have other STDs.
The popularity of these apps is a very positive development in terms of reducing the stigma once associated with these illnesses. However, since that stigma has not yet disappeared entirely, people who value their right to choose who they confide in as to their STD status will want to be careful in choosing their apps, looking into their options carefully to ensure that the STD dating apps they choose have a solid reputation for protecting users' personal information for online safety and privacy.