Individuals suffering from sexually transmitted infections (STI) often suffer in silence due to the heavy stigma attached to these diseases. This is especially true for individuals suffering from incurable infections like herpes simplex virus. MeetPositives.com aims to change that, offering an online meeting space, a herpes dating website, for individuals suffering from herpes and other kinds of STI, where they can connect with potential mates without the judgement and rejection that often accompanies dating attempts by STI positives.
Jack Lombardi, founder of MeetPositives.com, said, "Many individuals coming to our site have acquired herpes or other infection through no fault of their own. They report the disease being passed to them from a partner or spouse who was unaware they carried the condition, or passed it after cheating. We hope to provide a safe space where they can find companionship and happiness without fear of rejection or judgement due to their condition."
Mr. Lombardi points out that the primary goal of the site is to ensure that users never have to have "the talk" again, referring to the disclosure of their infection to a potential mate. Disclosing a condition, especially one that has no cure and is easily spread, is difficult. The disclosure could result in rejection from a potential mate. It also places the discloser in a vulnerable position as they have given personal and private information to another person who may not respect their privacy.
Relationships between carriers of herpes simplex virus and non-carriers are possible, but they begin on uneven footing. The non-carrier may be accepting of the diagnosis, but may feel angry or resentful if they contract the condition. Carriers may feel heightened anxiety, concerned they will pass the condition to their partner.
Herpes simplex virus is more of a nuisance than a serious health risk, but is extremely common, with 20 to 30 percent of the population infected. There are two types of the virus, type I and type II, neither of which has a cure and both of which are easily spread through sexual contact. Individuals who have been infected typically carry type I or type II of the virus, but can carry both. Many believe type I can only infect the lips and mouth and type II can only affect the genitals. This is inaccurate. An individual can experience a type I infection in their genital area and a type II infection orally, depending upon which area was first exposed to the virus.
Identification and diagnosis is relatively easy if the afflicted individual is experiencing an outbreak for a doctor to examine. Blood tests are available, but will only identify if a person has been exposed to herpes simplex. It will not provide information about the timing of infection or the contact which caused the infection. Someone who has experienced a cold sore may have a positive blood test result, but may not have genital herpes.
What makes diagnosis or knowing one's status even more difficult is the outbreak and dormancy cycle of the infection. Some individuals do not experience regular outbreaks and may not be aware they have been infected. Others experience frequent outbreaks and are aware of their carrier status. Others still have identifiable triggers, which result in predictable outbreaks. The virus behaves differently in each individual.
Herpes dating websites allow herpes carriers to meet positive singles with ease and privacy. Disease status is stated up front, which removes the barriers created by fear and shame, placing each person on the same level. Users are given the opportunity to grow and nurture their relationship without the barriers presented by a sexually transmitted infection.
The growth of specialized dating sites has increased in recent years, and so with demand from carriers of a variety of sexually transmitted infections looking to meet positive singles. Most sites cater to individuals suffering from many types of STI, including herpes, HIV / AIDS, and human papilloma virus. They offer forums for discussion ranging from dating to challenges relating to their diagnoses. There are also helpful tips for online dating safety.
Visitors of Mr. Lombardi's site tend to be people who suffer from conditions ranging from herpes to HIV. In the member stories area, users expressed feelings of relief and normalcy as a result of their experience on the site. Many have reported success in finding a mate after their diagnosis left them thinking they would never date again. Clients are grateful for the ability to date and search for potential mates without the added stress of a looming disclosure of their condition.
Those looking for more information are encouraged to visit the Meet Positives Facebook page or visit the website.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
Meet Positive is an alternative to dating and a second chance for positive singles who live with a sexually transmitted disease.
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