MPWH: The New Tinder-like Herpes Dating App

Meeting People with Herpes

By Contributing Author: Stephanie

Have you heard the news? Apparently there is a new herpes dating app that works somewhat like tinder.  I would like to use this blog to start the discussion on what apps like this mean for our community.

As I’m sure many of you are aware of, online dating and dating apps have become increasingly popular over the last decade.  Different sites like Positive Singles and Herpes Singles  are designed specifically for people seeking the online dating experience who have been diagnosed with herpes or other chronic STDs.  The new app, MPWH, stands for Meeting People with Herpes.  Although this runs as a website, there is also an app free for downloading on iOS and Android systems. I have never used online dating apps, or herpes specific dating apps, but I have given the concept a lot of thought.  I am going to lay out the pros and cons of using herpes dating apps and websites to the best of my ability, but I would like to hear from you all about your own experience with the world of online dating with herpes!

Pros:

I personally believe that the herpes dating websites have a lot to offer, especially for newly diagnosed individuals.  In my experience, it was extremely scary to start dating again after my diagnosis.  I was constantly worried about how and when I would have “the talk.”  For some reason rejection got a lot harder when it had to do with my sexual health status. Being able to date without worrying about “the talk” would have made the traumatic shift in the perception of my love life a bit easier.

I also think that an app like MPWH could be beneficial just for the sake of what I will call sexual sanity.  Just because we have been diagnosed with an STD does not mean that we do not have the right to enjoy casual sex if that is what we desire.  These websites could be a great place to meet someone to have a casual dating relationship with, without having to worry about transmitting the virus.  So long as the person you meet has the same type of HSV as you, and they do not have any other STDs, these websites give you access to have freedom and safety in casual sex.

One last pro is the way that these apps and websites show the prevalence of genital herpes in the world.  A herpes diagnosis can make us feel completely alone and unwanted if we allow the virus to make us feel like a victim.  These websites show the surprising amount of people who are living with the same virus as us, and that can be extremely comforting in times of loneliness!

Cons:

The first con that came to mind when I began to think critically about these websites and apps is the possibility of transmitting different types of the herpes virus back and forth, or even contracting another STD.  Many sites are herpes specific, but sites like Positive Single target anyone with any STD.  I urge you all to be smart when using these apps and websites for the sake of your own health and other’s health.

Although I agree that dating within the herpes community can be a great start to getting back out there after a diagnosis, I also argue that this can be limiting to a person’s dating life.  Sometimes I wonder if only dating other people with herpes can hold us back from seeing our true potential as an intimate partner.  It is inevitable that some people will not be accepting of our diagnosis, but it is also inevitable that some people will!  I think it is great to challenge ourselves to move outside of the herpes community to find love and support.  I think you will surprised with what you find!

Now I would like to hear thoughts and opinions from you all on the pros and cons of: 1) herpes dating websites and apps, and 2) only dating within the herpes community.  Feel free to ask me, Dr. Kelly, and each other questions.  I am looking forward to hearing about all the different experiences each of you have had!

 

About Stephanie

Hi Everyone! My name is Stephanie.  I was diagnosed with HSV-2 in April of 2014 when I was 22 years old.  Right now, almost three years later, I am a doctoral student in the sociology department at Purdue University.  I recently completed my MA in sociology at the University of Northern Colorado where I explored the role of stigma in the process of disclosing a genital herpes diagnosis.  With that said, if anyone is interested in reading what I discovered in my project, I am happy to share that with you! I plan to continue advocating for our community, as well as studying the social factors that influence sexual health in order to understand how we can create a world that is easier for people diagnosed with STIs.  I really enjoy writing for the Pink Tent community and am excited to be able to share some of my experiences and thoughts about living with genital herpes with you all.

13 comments

  1. Terri says:

    So to play it safe, each person we have a relationship with we should request lab results. That is challenging. Casual sex is out for me. I want a true solid relationship. No hook ups or one night stands. We all deserve better!

  2. Sarah says:

    I’ve used mpwh and it seems like the biggest issue is that no one is close, distance wise… I’m not sure how many are willing to relocate or have a LDR. I think it’s a good place for h+ people to start.

    • dee says:

      This is true. Most guys I’ve communicated with on the site are in Georgia or New York. I can’t find anyone nearby. Also, it is true of rejection from those outside the community. It hurts way more now because you do feel limited. For those who do feel its okay to share with others, I applaud you. Where I am, the city is small. If you tell someone, you gave the risk of telling everyone. Who wants yo live like that?

  3. Aimee says:

    Doc Kelly thank you for discussing this important topic, especially for singles with HSV. All your pro and con points are spot on. Thank you. I tried positive singles and was overwhelmed by the number of people diagnosed w STD’s. I am 47yo female diagnosed with HSV2 in July 2015. Since checking out PS, I prefer a site like MPWH to focus only on those within the H community. However, your story gives me strength to remain hopeful at finding a LT love partner outside of the H community.

  4. Anita says:

    I don’t believe in one night stands. I have found men on ps and other sites with men who don’t have herpes seem to be targeting women who they think are vulnerable. A lot of them say they are single and are looking for a serious relationship, but their behaviour says otherwise. I think the website dating attracts men who can hide behind who they are, no honesty. I rather meet someone in a group setting face to face where I am introduced to someone. This minimizes someone to target me as seen as a lonely woman.

  5. Leenajoe says:

    My name Leena Joe and Yes I have HIV and I am not Afraid of telling my story. I faced a lot of problems as a single HIV Woman. I got Depression and Frustration about my life at that time by gods grace I meet with FindPs.com really it is completely changed my life. First I meat with this site I really thought that “This small site what can I do with this”, but after Registration I meat my beautiful Future..Really Many Thanks to http://www.FindPs.com

  6. stdslove says:

    I believe more and more people will get Herpes because of Tinder!! The best way for singles with Herpes is to date someone on a herpes dating site. My friend John who works for a herpes dating site http://positivesingles.ca told me that the new users of the site has doubled YOY in 2016. Is it good or bad? Does it mean more and more people have Herpes, or more and more people choose to use herpes dating site?

  7. MamaBear says:

    What do others do about your other relatives? I have almost no family left. So what I do have I don’t want to reject me.i actually may have got HSV2 over 30 yrs ago.I didn’t even kknow about STDS back then and thot what swelled in my labia was a cyst.I didn’t have ins so I didn’t see anyone. It would swell and hurt in the same place for a few times over 5-6 yrs.I married.was widowed at 45! I still didn’t know I had HSV2. I met someone who did.I was still willing to love him. So I got tested and found out I had it. We’d never had sex. In all those yrs I’d been too scared to ask anyone about STD’s. Now I am getting tinglling lip and redness.i checked w/Dr.in 2013 I had antibody for HSV1. I wasn’t even told by new Dr.(she assumed I knew it).in 2007, I was negative for HSV1. Now I have grandchildren. 1 has cold sores.I never kiss his lips EVER. But kids put their fingers in people’s mouths and once he grabbed a dampish towel of mine.I called the CDC and they said don’t worry—I ddidnot give him HSV2 like that. Still I wonder if my child and his spouse would hate me and banish me if they knew? She doesn’t seem phased that child gets cold sores. My Dr. Said kids in daycare pick up everything and he probably got cold sores there. Still I feel like they’d not want me in their home, sleeping in their bed, using their toilet if they knew my positive status.My Dr.said I only need to talk about this w/a potential partner. And just practice caution about kissing and drinking around my family and not to keep this terrible anxiety. I feel like the dirtiest, worst parent/grandparent in the world. Will I ever feel better? Thanks!

  8. imnotmypast84 says:

    The only concern I have is the authenticity of these kinds of dating platforms. Who is QA/QC’ing these sites? It’s all too risky when it comes to my posting a picture of myself and entrusting strangers with my status. Call me old fashioned but I just think conversations ought to be made in person because human factors play a significant role. Now then, I also acknowledge that having this “gift” makes it harder for those conversations to occur; however, I’m not too inclined to share my face and health to someone who may have altering motives on the other end of the screen. Sorry, I’m late in replying but I just joined ! 🙂

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