Gay dating apps and stds

It compared gay and bisexual men who use dating apps with those who do not. And while app-users were more likely to have STDs than those.
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Beyond that, Ii's easy to feel alienated or unwanted when a bombshell lingers over every flirt, making it only natural that many Americans turn to dating apps targeted specifically at the positive community. As such, these sites offer safe harbor for folks like John Anderson. A couple years ago, he took home a one-night stand from a friend's house party, and soon after contracted Herpes. Anderson immediately deleted his Tinder and Plenty of Fish accounts. It was a dark few months—he returned to mainstream online dating briefly, but was quickly rebuffed by a few potential matches after his status was revealed, and has not been back.

Rattled by those rejections, he signed up for PositiveSingles, believing it offered a better shot at a long lasting relationship.


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People who have thought similar thoughts and reacted in ways you can sympathize with. It makes sending that first message to a girl much easier. Beyond the simple disclosure, though, Anderson says the site also offered an unexpected peace of mind.

What can be done?

Lindsay Connors, 35, feels much the same way. She found out she was HIV positive in , and tried a few targeted dating networks in the early days of her diagnosis. Back then, she found a small pool of users and limited heterosexual options, and so has dated "normally" a phrase she uses, but also hates since, and tells me almost everyone she's ever slept with or dated has been negative.

But recently, after the dissolution of a five-year relationship, she felt compelled to sign up at PositiveSingles. Connors has a good support system: She's a veteran survivor with plenty of people in her life that know her status, but recently she's found herself on dates with men who have been positive for less than a year, and are just as freaked out as she was as a year old. They basically just dating tools like the rest, but a negative person's relationship to Tinder is very different from a positive person's relationship to these communities.

On the former, there is no shared experience in swiping right or swiping left beyond the desire for sex or romance. But sites like HIVNet, Hope, and Poz are built as safe spaces, corners of the Internet where positive people can connect with those experiencing similar fears.

People sign up for dating sites to hook up; people sign up for STD dating sites to feel recognized—and then hook up.

STDs on the rise

Rick Burton learned he had HIV on an answering machine in the middle of the night. Back then, he had no access to counseling, therapy, or anything else. The infrastructure is better now, and he believes websites like his own helped make it so. Grindr has pledged to stop that practice. But since then, Grindr has neither shared plans for nor implemented broader STD partner notification. The app Daddyhunt , another BHOC partner, plans to release a new version of its app this summer that will include an option to log the date of a user's last STD test, and receive testing reminders every three months.

Daddyhunt's General Manager, Casey Crawford, said that it is also in preliminary discussions with BHOC about including partner STD notification resources as part of an upcoming user interface redesign.


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  3. Syphilis rates are on the rise, and dating apps may be playing a role, experts say.

STD rates, particularly syphilis, have climbed among men who have sex with men in recent years. A notification system that's linked to or integrated into hookup apps would make it easier for infected patients to tell current and past sexual partners they should get tested. Bauer told Mashable.

Gay men who use dating apps at increased risk for STDs

This revelation comes two weeks after the California Department of Health's chief of the division of communicable disease control, James Watt, told the San Francisco Chronicle he believes social media has played a significant role in the recent increase in STD infection rates. Experts appear to agree with his assessment, but have added the major caveat that other factors have also played a role in the recent uptick in STD infections.

As for ways that apps can play a role in STD testing and messaging, Bauer said she can see the feature working in a few ways.

My Experience With Grindr - Gay "Dating Apps"

The linking out option would essentially educate and provide access to notification services that app users might not know exist. That would certainly make it easier for people to contact former partners, and would be the simplest and easiest to implement option. However, Dr. Bauer also noted that an option that links out to an existing notification service relied on affected app users having the email or phone number of their past sexual partners.

Bauer, most people who find partners on apps like Grindr do have the phone numbers of their partners.

But a link out option would miss the swath of people whose communication was contained within the app. Bauer said. But there are going to be some people missed if no contact information is shared. As for in-app options, one iteration would make STD notification messaging an option between users. In this case, the app would allow its users to maintain contact with people through the app, in the event that they needed to be reached for the sake of STD notifications.

Bauer says this could help stop the spread of STDs because it would enable people to notify a person they might have otherwise lost contact with. Another option would be that the apps would own the notifications process themselves, which would help a person notify a former partner, while remaining anonymous.

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Grindr, other dating apps are working to add STD notification features

A capability like that could increase the rates of STD infection notification messages, thereby potentially stopping a chain of infection, and decreasing STD rates overall. That's because people who might not otherwise notify partners of STDs, because of embarrassment, might utilize an anonymous notification process owned by the app to tell partners that they should get tested — without specifics. This mirrors the capabilities of services like STDCheck. He wants to enable Daddyhunt users to notify one another about risks of infection, regardless of whether they exchanged phone numbers or not.

However, Sandler acknowledged that creating that capability will be challenging — especially as an industry standard. But he is committed to working with BHOC to increase health and safety for the gay community.