"Instead of providing a great educational resource, they run away from the subject altogether." Thus, the evolution of a handful of niche dating sites with names like Positive Personals (for people diagnosed with HIV) and After H (herpes and HPV).
The affirming salve of most dating sites -- imagining that everyone running across one's profile will be in exactly the same awkward, romantically hopeful position -- can be doubly comforting here."Having that conversation is tough," says the Prince George's County resident, who contracted the disease from an ex-boyfriend."When I was first diagnosed in my twenties, I thought it was the end of the world." As luck would have it, Nancy (who asked that The Post withhold her last name to protect her privacy) stumbled across an Internet dating community specifically for singles diagnosed with herpes -- Meet People With H ( She posted information about herself, along with a photo, and within days, responses from "tons of men" -- including CEOs, a firefighter and an architect -- came pouring in.Once contracted, they become a permanent part of the person's sex and dating landscape -- a situation that can be more daunting than seeking medical treatment."Disclosing their sexual history is the hardest part for some people," said Charles Ebel, vice president of health program resources at ASHA.