The idea for Date Positive came about in 2004 after a friend learned that she had an STD and didn’t know how she would meet a new partner.
She also wanted to find new friends with the same kind of experience to gain support and feel less isolated. She searched the Internet and discovered that all the dating and friendship websites for people with STDs, including AIDS and HIV, were based in North America.
We realised through her experience that there wasn’t a UK site for people living with STDs such as AIDS, HIV, and herpes. Single people with an STD can feel a lot of stress when it comes developing a new relationship. www.datepositive.net, which launched in September 2006, helps take away the fear of rejection and worry.
The idea wasn’t just about creating an online meeting place. We are providing members with information and resources and therefore have built additional sections containing support group information, news, and weblinks.
According to international AIDS charity AVERT, an estimated 58,000 adults in the UK live with HIV/AIDS, and there is a steep increase in the number of new cases each year. The Health Protection Agency also reports a significant increase in other STDs across the UK.
Dr Abayomi Opaneye, consultant in genito-urinary medicine at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, UK, has applauded the creation of Date Positive. He said: “I think it is a great idea. STDs caused by viruses can lead to difficulties, including psychological problems. A few of my patients with genital warts have said they have problems dating.”
Because of the sensitive nature of the site, Date Positive includes specia l features to protect members’ privacy. It uses a confidential internal email messaging system for members to make contact and members decide who gets to see their picture.
Originally published on the old Datepositive blog, Jan. 28, 2008.