David & JohnnyCourtesy of David & Johnny

Modern technology has accustomed us to meeting people digitally. Dating apps have become as common to use as the internet. We no longer have to go to bars, clubs or social gatherings to find a potential mate or date.

While it may seem like the perfect match between innovation and the need for companionship, for those of us who are living with HIV it’s not that simple. We also have to think about disclosure.

We also have to consider privacy concerns that have recently been raised with apps such as Grindr.

As a result, we hope these tips make deciding whether to share your HIV status on dating apps or sites a little easier should you choose to disclose.

  • Match.com vs. Grindr? Disclosing on a so-called hook-up app, such as Grindr, is often not the same experience as on a dating site, such as Match.com. If the app or site asks about compatibility past one night, it may be seeking to partner you with someone long term. If it’s asking about genitals, for example, it’s more likely just focused on hooking up. In either case, you may want to consider holding off disclosing until you meet someone to get a feel for their personality outside of your mobile device.
  • Weigh the pros and cons. It takes effort to complete a profile, entering a screen name, your age, height, weight, hopes and dreams, etc. As a result, consider taking the process more seriously. If you’re looking to find a long-term relationship, or at least a relationship with some strings, thinking about sharing your HIV status upfront may not be such a bad idea, especially if the app or site gives you the option to disclose.
  • Disclose where you’re celebrated, not tolerated! All apps and sites are not created equal. Many still stigmatize people living with HIV, but some of them are increasingly more welcoming. If you have thought about disclosing for a while but still can’t bring yourself to do it, there are apps and sites that specifically serve people living with HIV. Give them a shot, you never know whom you’ll meet!

Should you decide not to disclose your HIV status on an app or site, for whatever reason, just remember—your potential mate or date will hopefully look to be with a person beyond a diagnosis!

Go to DavidAndJohnny.org for more information on all things David and Johnny. Also check out their video blog series “Table Talk” on POZ.com.

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