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A few years ago, back when I was regularly trolling OKCupid for dates, I received a message from a potential paramour. He'd been scanning through the survey answers associated with my profile, and one response in particular gave him pause: It wasn't witu carefully considered stance on sexual transmitted infections, or grand statement about herpes.

For him, however, it was a potential deal breaker: As you've probably Sfeking out by now, my suitor was a member of that vast group of sexually active adults who've been Seeking a man with hsv2 with herpes.

The internet was supposed to be transformative for people with incurable, but highly preventable, STIs like herpes simplex virus HSV who wanted to date while being open about their status.

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There's no question that these sites which have even spawned their own Tinder-like Seeking a man with hsv2 are a fantastic demonstration of how innovative online dating platforms can be. But even as they bring together a number of people living with STIs, they don't seem to do much to improve general education about living with herpes and other STIs. And as a result, people going online in search of connection and support often end up feeling Seekinv, isolated, and more alone than ever.

So what does help? Not surprisingly, education, honesty, and openness. And in the beginning, that seemed to be the case.

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Hoping to improve her prospects, or at least connect with people in a similar position, Ellie turned to the internet. But despite the promise of community and Seeking a man with hsv2, she found that STI-focused dating sites just made her feel worse.

Seeoing since these sites' only criterion for joining was an STI diagnosis, members didn't really have that much in common aside from their diagnosis, which many seemed obsessed by.

Ellie noted that mxn was more of a group therapy Seeking a man with hsv2 than a dating site. Nothing about it was sexy. Positive Singles markets itself as an open forum for dating, but in practice can feel more like a cliquey support group.

More troublingly, the sites seemed less likely to unite people with STIs than to divide them into cliques. Ellie's not alone in her assessment of STI dating sites as a barren, depressing wasteland.

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This is not to say herpes condemns you to a depressing, dateless existence. It's just that corralling people with STIs into a corner of the internet, while making no attempt to improve education around the reality of what an STI diagnosis actually means, doesn't really do much to change the situation. MPWH might offer community in the form of blogs and Seking, but since much of the content is user-generated, the site's tone is set by panicked people who are convinced they're dating outcasts—rather than, say, a calm, knowledgeable expert there to educate and reassure the site's members that everything is Housewives seeking sex Fairfield Alabama 35064. MPWH staff do contribute posts Seeking a man with hsv2 the site, but they can be poorly written and full of misspellings, hardly an encouraging sign for Seeking a man with hsv2 members.

As Seeking a man with hsv2 result, these sites merely serve to segregate people who qith herpes from people who don't or don't admit itfurther cementing the erroneous idea that a common viral infection somehow makes a person permanently unfuckable—when, in fact, a combination of medication, condoms, and avoiding sex during outbreaks can make sex with herpes fairly safe certainly much safer than sex with someone who blithely assumes they're STI-free.

Sfeking surprisingly, education, honesty, and openness about the topic of herpes. Despite their initial fears, both Ellie and Ann have gone on to have awesome sex with amazing people—none Seeking a man with hsv2 whom they found by explicitly seeking out other people with herpes.

Dating Sites for People with Herpes Aren't All They're Cracked Up to Be - VICE

That's the other problem with sites like MPWH: Tinder, duh. It's worth noting that it can take some time to get Seeking a man with hsv2 the hdv2 where you're comfortable dating in the wild with herpes: Ellie found that dating European men, who in her experience are less burdened by cultural baggage around herpes, helped her regain her confidence.

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Seeking a man with hsv2 worked through her shame in therapy and is now "really open IRL about my diagnosis which I think has really helped my friends who also get diagnosed. Fundamentally, just treating herpes as the annoying, but wth, infection that it is can have a huge impact with potential partners.

Sign up for the best of VICE, delivered to your inbox daily. The internet was supposed to be transformative for people with incurable, but highly preventable, STIs like herpes simplex virus.

A staff post from the Meet People With Herpes forum. Newsletters are the new newsletters.