Lana, a 38 year-old publicist in Los Angeles, was diagnosed with genital herpes in 1997.
Together these sites now boast tens of thousands of members.
In addition to providing their users with a more hospitable environment, these websites defuse the tension over how and when to disclose an illness, which is often an issue for people with diseases and disabilities who venture onto mainstream dating sites.
When health problems equal heartache After some “horrible” results on other dating websites, Lana joined Prescription 4 Love and the STD-specific site
Both sites require members to disclose their illnesses upfront, clearing the air for what might be a deal-breaking revelation later.
All of these can make datingoften an ego-shattering minefield for those in perfect healtheven trickier."On bigger dating sites the competition is tremendous," says Jim Houran, Ph D, a clinical psychologist and columnist for Online Dating Magazine.
"And lets face it, depending on what [the illness] is, it could very well make you uncompetitive in the larger dating pool."Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives.
A new breed of dating site has emerged to play cupid for people with chronic diseases and disabilities.
Over the past five years, several sitessuch as Prescription4love.com, Nolongerlonely.com, and Cisforcupid.comhave launched to serve the needs of people with conditions ranging from bipolar disorder to Crohn's disease.
Within her first week on Positive Singles, she went on three dates and has since gone on seven more, which fostered one romantic relationship and a friendship over the past two years. Though Prescription 4 Love didnt yield any dates for Lana, this fast-growing online community offers an alternative to mainstream dating sites for thousands of singles.