Wednesday, May 2, 2007

More STI hookup site reviews as promised

A while back I wrote a post with some short reviews of dating sites for folks with viral STIs. As promised, I'm back with 3 more STI dating sites. In order from good to shouldn't exist, here are three more:
I like this free site for many reasons. Like most hookup sites, has a clause asking married individuals to please not use the service. Yet, unlike most hookup sites, STI* and non-STI focused alike, MatchSTD has an exception for people "participating in an alternative-style relationships." It also has a downhome feeling to its general language, probably b/c it is run by just 2 guys (both of whom admit that they don't have any STDs themselves but have friends whose dating lives suffered severely). One thing I couldn't figure out though was how to select United States as my location...perhaps it's a default, but that wasn't clear to me.
This site looks really nice (nicer than MatchSTD), but the profile logic is a bit wierd. When you go to sign up you select what your are, as in your gender. Then there's a drop down menu for "I am with," which is actually the list of possible STIs. Like STDMatch (not to be confused with MatchSTD) it lists chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Okay, folks, once again, these are CURABLE! They are not chronic-have-for-the-rest-of-your-life STIs. Get some antibiotics and THEN get a date. Jeez! Another thing that was a bit funky was the "My match" drop down menu. You can only select one answer and the choices include: American, Baptist, mediterranean, hispanic/latino, etc. "Are you American? I only date citizens." Whatever. Strange. ("time to start dating again..." is their tagline)
H-date is herpes focused, although there is some mention of HPV. Oddly, the terms and services section says, "You further represent and warrant that you are 13 years of age or older and that your use of the will not violate any applicable law." 13 years old on a dating site even if you're not breaking any laws? I went on to check out how profiles are built and saw that it includes the option to check boxes such as, "I can have sex with a good looking stranger anytime" or "I'll sleep with anyone who wants me." So while I applaud their acknowledgement that young people have sex, they should be doing something to ensure that young people meeting on their site are just having sex with other young people. At least setting up their search logic differently. Another large oversight is that a person of any age can say they 'prefer' a 13 yo. Oops.

*I tend to use "STD" because it's what CA state STD control still uses, the CDC uses, etc. There has been a move among health professionals and public health communities to use STI (sexually transmitted infection) for several reasons. 1. An infection is much less stigmatized than a disease. 2. Many STIs have no symptoms. People may be infected, but are not 'diseased.' I am constantly corrected when I use 'STD' and am trying to change. This * will help me remember.

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