Dating with an STD can be intimidating. Disclosing your status and having the dreaded “talk”, or managing contagiousness, is stressful. But it’s not impossible. Some simple tips make it easier, and you can get better at it with practice. One way in this digital era is through online dating. Let’s dig in to the best STD dating sites, find out why some are not so great, and set ourselves up for success to meet someone amazing.
Best STD Dating Sites: Criteria
So you want to meet people who are in the same boat as you and see what’s out there. But when you search around, there are so many dating sites for people diagnosed with an STD. At least, that’s how it would seem. We’re going to let you in on a little known secret: Sometimes dating sites are networked together, creating the illusion that there are many more. Would you rather go with the original?
Here are our other criteria:
- Is discreet with my privacy and also has safeguards so that other users will respect my privacy;
- Has a lot of active users so I’m more likely to strike up a great match; and
- An easy-to-use interface with modern and sleek features. Nothing clunky and outdated.
Let’s jump right in and see what we’re dealing with.
Positive Singles is undoubtedly the largest and most active STD dating site. It’s been around since 2001 and claims to have 1,183,000+ registered members. Here’s a rundown of the features it boasts:
- Confidential: A nice feature is the privacy settings. You can pick which members to share you private photo albums with. To get the full benefits of invitation-only photo albums, you need a paid membership. You get more assurance this way that the people who can see you and your profile in detail are serious daters like yourself, with an accepting attitude.
- Large community: The site claims 1,183,000+ registered members. According to the site, “PositiveSingles is the best … dating site for people with Herpes, HPV, HIV / AIDS and other STDs in the world. We have 60,000+ STD dating success stories, 120,000+ daily conversations, 15,000+ daily active members and 500+ daily blog posts.” The community is also helped by:
- Blogs and Chat: People can post their thoughts and experiences, making the dating site feel like a support community.
- Accepting of STDs: Includes all STDs, but does have filtering options to narrow down your options if you prefer to meet someone in the exact same boat as you.
- Has a Phone App: The app is a match-style one, similar to Tinder. You just create an account here now and then download the app to sign in and try it.
We actually reviewed this site before. If you take a look at our Positive Singles for herpes dating review, you’ll see a look at what the site looked like on the inside at the time the post was written and get an idea of what to expect. Just keep in mind that the company’s STD dating app is popular now and has improved and modernized the member experience.
Positive Singles is the site we recommend, because as far as we can tell, it’s the original STD dating site with the largest member base. It is free to join and see for yourself. If you decide to join, you can upgrade your account to get more options, such as being able to use more specific search criteria than a free account. Sign up for a free account here. You can then download the app and sign in if you wish to use the Tinder-style matching features.
MPwH: A Herpes Dating Site
This one also says it’s been around a while. The site footer says it was established in 2001, the same time Positive Singles says it was established. And the interface looks … the same. Unlike Positive Singles, though, MPwH is specifically for people with herpes. The drop-down when you sign up shows you what that means: Cold sores, Genital HSV-1, Genital HSV-2, Cold Sores HSV-2, or unknown type.
We signed up an account to check out the inside. The first thing we noticed, as stated, was that the design and layout looks a lot like Positive Singles. However, the company name they say will appear on billing statements is different, so we’re not sure if the two sites are partnered or just use some similar third-party interface. It does seem that this one really does only show people with herpes viruses, though.
- Privacy – Just like Positive Singles, you can have public pictures as well as private albums that you grant people access to on a case by case basis.
- Herpes Only – The site says that everyone can feel comfortable being themselves.
- Blogs and Forums – Post a blog or in the forums to discuss a variety of topics, both general and supportive.
- Paid Account – Get more features when you pay.
When we went to another STD dating website we noticed a problem. That’s because we saw thumbnails of user’s profile pictures right there on the homepage. That doesn’t seem confidential. We have no idea if those users wanted to be featured there, but we don’t guess most people would.
We didn’t bother signing up and looking at the member’s area. It just was immediately something we knew we wouldn’t recommend.
The problem with a lot of free STD dating sites
It’s easy to be skeptical about the number of STD sites out there. Some of the sites are networked together. It’s a thing that’s been around for a while as a way to get more members to sign up. It’s hard to say which STD dating sites are sister sites, though. It would take more sleuthing.
That’s probably why a best STD dating sites review list like this is even necessary: Because there are so many, it’s kind of surprising. And confusing.
This isn’t a judgment as to whether the marketing practice is right or wrong. It’s just why we won’t list every possible dating site here. At some point, it would be redundant.
Regardless, there are many good options if you keep an open mind. By that we mean…
Non-STD Dating Sites
Under no circumstances should you rule out conventional dating sites. The simple fact is, if dating is a numbers game, you just have a wider pool of people to choose from. If you’re serious about meeting someone, it doesn’t hurt to explore all options. Some people have both Match.com accounts as well as Positive Singles accounts for this reason. And don’t forget that you’re still allowed to talk to people in the real world. Remind yourself that you are a worthwhile person and partner. (Worried about telling someone your status? Want to get more comfortable with it yourself? Read: How to have the talk about herpes or other STDs).
It’s a modern standby, but one that people express frustration over for the casual dating vibe. Interestingly, OKCupid was once in a small controversy for a survey question it asked users taking a personality profile or quiz. When asked if you had an STD, if the member said yes, the quiz gave them a link redirecting them to a competitor’s dating site. Yikes.
It’s the site that pioneered the world of online dating, and a huge contender still today. You can always keep one here and one on Positive Singles to keep an eye out for the one. Sign up here.
Meeting People in the Real World
You are not your diagnosis! There is so much more to you as a whole, interesting, and unique person. It can be intimidating, but it is possible. Be kind to yourself. Here are some articles that may be useful. They’re specific to herpes but perhaps some ideas will be useful for everyone: