Washington DC: With more people going online nowadays to find love, comes more dangers, where people need to be more careful. According to a new study, more than 60% of gay and bisexual men diagnosed with HIV reported meeting sexual partners online in the preceding year.
Study authors at Brown University, The Miriam Hospital, and the Rhode Island Department of Health suggest that companies that produce hookup websites and apps should partner with public health groups, to share public health messages about the risks of sexual encounters arranged online. For instance, sites and apps could provide affordable advertising access to help prevent infection in communities that are most impacted by HIV.
Researcher Amy Nunn said that this is a statewide study that included nearly all individuals newly diagnosed with HIV across an entire state.
Five sites and apps, some of which are also used by women, were the most popular: Grindr, Manhunt, Scruff, Adam4Adam and Craigslist. The goal of the research, therefore, is not to stigmatize sex or men who use the sites, he and Nunn said, but to instead to inspire partnerships with companies to include more information that could slow the spread of HIV. This is one of the first studies to document how common Internet site use is among people newly diagnosed with HIV and highlights important opportunities to partner with hookup sites to advance public health.
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My first question is -- and I guess we'll start with you, David -- how did you get back into the dating game when you were first diagnosed? It was really, really challenging in the beginning, until I really got comfortable with my own status, and with the fact that this was something I was going to have to live with and go through for the rest of my life. Keith Green: Well, because you can't disclose the HIV piece, really, without the question about sexuality coming up, especially for black women.
So it was more that disclosing my HIV status would mean disclosing that I also have sex with men, and that just became such a big challenge that I didn't, couldn't, deal with it at that time. Perry Halkitis: I think, Keith, what you're saying is really great, and I think it points to one of the issues that we should probably talk about a little bit here.
So I have always been very comfortable talking about my status, and I think that my comfortability makes it easier for people to be more at ease with my status.
I think -- especially when you're dating -- people can pick up on your insecurities, and if HIV is one of them, it makes it easier for them to kind of count you off the market.
Nina Martinez: I think it was anger about the breakup, and it was kind of a way for him to tell me that nobody else would want me, that I was lucky that he wanted me, or something.
What I get a lot of the time, actually, are responses from guys all over the country who will just say hello to me because I have my status right there in the profile. The funniest story I can think of is, one time I was doing a workshop and there was a new volunteer who was working behind the scenes.
David Salyer: I think that's the most uncomfortable conversation to have, when you're in bed already.
It's not the time personally for me to start talking about boundaries and what you consider safe, and here's what I consider safe. Perry Halkitis: David, what do you say to a person who is HIV positive who says, "You know, I'm really attracted to someone and I want to have sex with them. David Salyer: Well, that does come up a lot of times when I am facilitating group discussions.
Now, what I usually do, if I'm talking one-on-one to somebody, I'll say, "What's really going on here?
About the moral and ethical responsibility, though: If you look at it a different way and you say, well, if I give someone oral sex, there's no risk of them getting HIV from me.
David Salyer: I feel like for me to keep my integrity, then I have to disclose if it's any kind of sexual activity.
I wanted to discuss some of these issues because I think there are people who say, "Well, that's a no risk thing, and everyone knows the risks out there. Keith Green: I think, Bonnie, for me, the lesson that I learned from not disclosing was that I don't have a right to take away somebody else's right to choose.
Perry Halkitis: I think Keith raises a really, really good point, though, that people tend to forget when you're talking about dating and being HIV positive. David Salyer: Because it is really a small world and people can find out later, down the line, that you're HIV positive.
The Body is a service of Remedy Health Media, LLC, 750 3rd Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10017. Dating can be tricky for anyone, but if you are living with HIV (HIV+), you have some extra things to think about.
If you are looking for a positive partner, consider going to places (online and in person) where you will meet other people living with HIV.
Even if you practice safer sex, and even if your partner is not infected by the contact, it is illegal in many states and countries to engage in sex without disclosing.
Some women living with HIV find it hard to think about dating because they feel less desirable or less appealing than HIV-negative women. Get important information about different forms of TB, TB treatment, TB in people living with HIV, TB in pregnancy, and more.
Get basic information about HIV drug resistance – what it is, what causes it, testing for it, and how to prevent it from developing. Gay Forums - I've been told it's not that risky if you take proper precautions and that a Neg . For the newly diagnosed, there is nothing quite as intimidating as the thought of getting back out into the dating scene.
Just as you shouldn’t hold yourself back, you don’t want to rush into a relationship just because you think it will be the fix you are looking for.
Your status does not define who you are, nor does it dictate the kind of person who you should be with.

Three in five were gay, bisexual, or other MSM, and of those 43 people, 22 told researchers they believe a man they met online gave them the virus, said the study. Nicole Alexander-Scott said that a study like this is an urgent call to action for greater collaboration around education to address the health needs of men who have sex with men. Keith is an associate editor at Positively Aware and works as a community activist in Chicago, Ill. So that's when I reentered the dating world again, and I have dated negative men and positive men. Which is, when we're talking about dating and being an HIV-positive person, HIV is not the only thing that's in the mix, right?
I was diagnosed when I was 8 years old, and as a result, I never learned to be uncomfortable with talking about my status, because you don't really ask an 8-year-old to keep a secret.
In terms of when I'm wanting to date, and things like that, the men in my life already know my status. It's been a long time since I showed up for a date and then had to disclose over coffee, or over dinner. I had done a safer sex presentation, and after this workshop, a guy came up to me and asked me out on a date. I've also heard that, especially amongst black men, that the pool of men to date is really small.
I have met somebody, and if there was some energy between us, some chemistry, I've kissed them.
When you've already entered the bedroom and you're starting to take your clothes off, to me that's just not the time to start disclosing your HIV status.
I want to have that conversation outside of the bedroom, very casually, with the lights on. So rather than try to come from some judgmental place and go, well, you've got this moral and ethical responsibility to disclose, I just try to get them to tell me what's really going on with them, what's making them uncomfortable. Once you disclose your status to someone, then you said it's the other person's decision what risk they are willing to take. I would also say that I agree with what Keith said about the issue of choice and giving the other person a choice in whether they want to go forward with sexual activity.
The Body and its logos are trademarks of Remedy Health Media, LLC, and its subsidiaries, which owns the copyright of The Body's homepage, topic pages, page designs and HTML code. How would you feel if a date waited until after the two of you had sex to mention that he or she was married?
Attend a support group for women living with HIV and ask others how they handle disclosure and dating. As you feel better about yourself, you will likely remember how loving you can be – not just with yourself, but with others.
Even though you are the same person as you were before – same interests, same likes, and same qualities – you can feel as if a potential love interest might view you differently. Far too often, people with HIV act as if they are lucky to find someone who will look past their HIV status.
A relationship should be based on similar interests, likes, and qualities, not whether the two of you are on the same medication schedule.
If you want a chance at finding a relationship worth something, you must first realize that you are just as valuable as you have always been, maybe more.
Philip Chan said that the widely used sites are part of the lifestyle and culture among many gay and bisexual men and can lead to lasting relationships, not just health risks. The rate of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men represents an unacceptable health disparity that absolutely must be addressed.
How -- and more importantly, when -- do you tell someone you are dating that you are HIV positive? Halkitis directs the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies at New York University. As an African-American gay man with HIV, Keith feels called to combat the virus in communities of color, especially among black gay men.
He has developed and led safer sex and disclosure presentations and workshops for people with HIV since 1994. So I feel like it's more my choice of whether to date them, rather than their choice of wanting to date me. I was never really comfortable meeting guys in a bar and trying to have that conversation over loud disco music.
So if you factor in the fact that possibly 46 percent of us, or one out of every two of us, is HIV positive, that makes the dating pool even smaller for somebody who is negative, who's looking for other negative men. And this was somebody -- we had been building this friendship for probably almost a year, and I hadn't been able to tell her that I was positive.
If I'm in a group, for instance, the group's dynamic will take over, and they will try to get that person to understand that they need to disclose. But what I usually do with other people is use it as an opportunity to get them to talk about their status, and how they feel about it.
But I would assume the bottom line really lies with the person who is HIV negative, and is putting themselves at risk. Also, my experience is that when you don't disclose, it will eventually come back to bite you in the ass. General Disclaimer: The Body is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. Similarly, if a person is going to accept you and your diagnosis, timing of disclosure may not matter (as long as you tell before having sex). Whether or not you are living with HIV, dating almost always includes some rejection and almost everyone has some trial runs before finding that special person!
Your HIV status is not a reflection of your self-worth; try not to let it affect your standards.

However, if these feelings last and prevent you from dating, or lead to depression or isolation, it is important to get help. In the meantime, here are five dating don’ts to follow until you figure it out for yourself. However, that flawed way of thinking could lead you to look past bad chemistry just because he likes you. With treatment options today, HIV does not have to separate or even complicate matters of the heart. HIV doesn’t diminish what you bring to the table.? In fact, being poz can lead to positives like personal growth, giving you even more lovable attributes. There are so many questions about sex, dating and HIV that the whole idea can seem overwhelming. Nina works for the Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center, where she helps educate the public about HIV vaccine trials. It's knowing that the person that they are with, or about to engage in sexual activity with, has been with another man. But, generally, if people ask me where I work -- and I work at HIV vaccine trials -- it generally comes up as a side note, and people don't even think twice about what I've just said. But certainly, if somebody's going to tell me that, then that's somebody that I don't want to be with, anyway. It's easier to settle with someone who will have you, and has had you, than to venture off.
I've been single, now, five and a half years, so I have been on more than my fair share of dates. The funny thing was, I actually think he had pity sex with me later, just to kind of make me feel better about it.
So I have heard people actually say, "Well, the dating pool is small, I can't afford to really exclude positive men," which is just an interesting statement for me, in and of itself. If I thought it was going to go any further than a kiss, just a casual kind of kiss, then I would disclose to them. So I don't feel like I need to disclose at that point in time, because I'm not putting this person's health at risk." What would your response be to somebody like that? Now, sure, I am also putting myself at risk for other STDs [sexually transmitted diseases] or reinfection, etc., etc. You know, if somebody's walking around with a very virulent strain of gonorrhea or undetected syphilis, for an immunocompromised person, this can be potentially a problematic situation. The information provided through The Body should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. You do not have to "settle" for being alone or being with a person who is wrong for you because you are living with HIV. If you feel worried or guilty about the possibility of infecting your partner, make sure you know how to protect him or her by practicing safer sex. Start dating gay and bisexual men and women in our gay personals and find a friend or relationship.
Dating with HIV is just a new matter of scientific logistics, not a magnification of your flaws.
HIV isn’t a bad quality that you possess, and someone worth your time won’t pat himself on the back for being with you. His research examines the relationships between drug use, mental health, social issues and risky behavior. He's been writing for years about living with HIV and his wise and witty articles can be found on our our site. But that was definitely very hard for me to take, because nobody had ever said anything like that to me before.
I think that was a large part of why I never moved on from that unhealthy relationship, why I stayed in it for two years -- because I didn't think anybody else would want me. Because now you can go online, and you can post a profile of yourself, with pictures, and you can write a paragraph. She felt I should have been able to discuss that with her, even before we decided to have sex -- which I probably should have.
So right up there in the first paragraph about myself, I'm going to disclose that I'm HIV positive. So I'm supposed to tell them the news, and say, 'By the way, I could be positive?'" So I wondered what you thought of that argument. No matter how great or how small it is; it's not my place to negotiate anybody else's risk, at all.
One thing that happened was I feel I was pushed more towards being a gay man, if you will, because I found it a lot easier to disclose my status to other gay men, or other men, than I did to disclose to women. I can stand up and deliver safer sex information over and over again, which I have done since 1994.
It's like a promotional campaign: You try to emphasize your strong points and play down any weaknesses.
If they can't deal with it, then they're really not going to contact you, and if they're okay with it, then they will.
I know that when people walk out of the room, they're still going to make up some of their own rules and their own dos and don'ts.

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