Finding the right footing in the dating scene can be difficult for anyone, but especially so for those with a positive HIV diagnosis. Dating with HIV requires complete honesty about an issue that can be hard to talk about. It also requires a certain level of disclosure before any sexual act.
Fortunately, there are several resources dedicated to helping HIV-positive individuals find their perfect match. Click through the slideshow for a rundown on some of the top HIV dating sites.
Poz.com is dedicated to helping HIV-positive individuals. In addition to offering community forums, mentoring, and medical information, Poz.com also has its own dating community.
A basic POZ Personals membership is free and allows you to see other members’ profiles, share up to five photos, and track who has looked at your profile. A paid premium membership places your profile above other matches and allows you to save your favorite searches.
POZ Personals frequently features advice from members going through various stages of dating.
Founded in 1988, PozMatch is owned and run by HIV-positive individuals and is open to everyone living with HIV.
Basic membership is free and includes a profile, five photos, browsing, searching, and instant messaging, among other features. A premium membership includes all these features plus private email, webcam and video, and support services.
PozMatch isn’t just for romantic relationships. It also helps connect those looking for friendships.
HIV and Single provides forums and resources for staying up-to-date on the latest in HIV research and treatment. Its mission is to help HIV-positive individuals find love without judgment.
In your standard membership, you can create a profile, add an unlimited number of photos, and upload video and audio clips. A premium membership gives you the ability to contact other members, send and receive text messages, and participate in community forums.
The site also provides dating safety tips for those who are new to or apprehensive about online dating.
Volttage.com is the first website created exclusively for gay and bisexual adult men who are HIV-positive or HIV-friendly. Model, “Project Runway” contestant, and AIDS activist Jack Mackenroth created the stigma-free site.
More than just a dating site, Volttage is a full social network with HIV-related news, health information, and a complementary blog called Volttage Buzz.
A site designed for those with HIV, HPV, herpes, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Positive Singles has been forming connections since 2001. You can read about some of their 60,000+ dating success stories on the site.
Features also include a live dating advisor and online chat rooms. The free app is another way for you to find potential matches and access your private album.
Hzone is the No. 1 HIV dating app for HIV singles. It uses location-based technology to find matches in your area. With a simple swipe, you can anonymously like (or pass) on potential matches and send direct messages.
And because it’s password-protected, you know that you’re the only one accessing your profile.
A site for dating as well as finding companionship or emotional support, HIV Passions is a free online dating and social networking site for HIV-positive singles. You can create a new profile or register with Facebook to start finding and accessing your top matches.
Besides matching singles, the site also includes chat rooms, forums and blogs, video channels, and book reviews.
HIV People Meet understands that having an STD doesn’t mean you can, or shouldn’t, find love. This free dating site allows you to find other singles going through similar situations.
By joining HIV People Meet, you have access to a live dating advisor and other support services. The website also provides information on local support events and offers successful dating tips.
If you’re concerned about privacy and sharing your personal information online, Positives Dating may be the site for you. Each profile is monitored carefully, and the site guarantees that your information is never disclosed or shared with other organizations.
Positive Dating was featured in Entrepreneur, Miami Herald, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, and other notable publications.
Here are two things to keep in mind:
- Disclose your status. If your partner doesn’t know, you may wish to disclose this information on your first date. Or, you may prefer to wait until you know the relationship has potential. Either way, make sure to tell them before any sexual contact.
- Practice safe sex. Using protection is vital, even if you and your partner are both HIV-positive. Doing so will protect you from contracting STDs, which can lower your CD4 count and cause other complications. Also, having unprotected sex puts you at risk for contracting another strain of HIV.
Thanks to rapid improvements in treating the virus, HIV isn’t the death sentence it was 10 years ago. Many people with the disease can live normal, healthy lives with intimate relationships for many years after diagnosis.