Thursday, January 20, 2011

Posting Your HIV Status and Hooking Up Online - What's Yours?

via Adam4Adam blogger Stephan

Marketing is generally the driving force in all sales efforts; that includes the sale of one’s self.

Hooking-up online has it’s advantages: advantages that can get you laid quickly and matched with just the right guy. One of the advantages found in profiles are that they can tell you what a guy is into, where he is, what he looks like, and when he is available. Profiles are the online marketing tools of those seeking sex. When accurate and honest, a well written profile can reduce the talk required before meeting a sexual match to a couple of emails and help to ensure you have a great time with the right guy. When a profile is completed with detailed information, the information posted can effectively weed out those you are not interested in meeting, and invite those you want to meet. Profiles are great marketing tools!

When members join Adam4Adam seeking a sex partner, what goes in your profile—your marketing tool—will ultimately help to determine what happens sexually between you and other members of the site.

Profiles on Adam4Adam, as on most sex seeking sites, have the option to disclose your HIV status (blank, negative, positive, don’t know). The primary reason this field exists is to provide the option to include your HIV status, if known, under the belief that having this information is important to the health of other members and will help you find a sexual match.

The fields are clear, yet assumptions regarding any one’s status other than “positive” must be avoided. A status of negative is only as accurate as the testing method, frequency of testing, and sexual behaviors since being tested (and about 3 months before) of the person claiming to be negative.

Having HIV status in profiles is not always welcomed by all members. As I see it, there are two sides to this debate: those that believe that the field lends an unjust creditability to someone stating they are HIV-negative and those that believe that having the field is a form of risk reduction.

I believe that having an HIV status field is important. I also understand that men lie. There are most likely men that believe when someone states they are HIV-negative, that it absolutely means they are HIV-negative. In fact, there are too many variables for many sexually active men to state with no doubt that they are in fact negative and be 100% sure and accurate.

Consider this: if someone lies about their HIV status online, would they not also lie in person?

Further consider which is a more misleading statement of ‘safety’ a field on a profile or a face to face statement? What would you give more creditability, a face to face statement that “I am negative”, or a field in a profile that says negative? I would personally be more apt to believe someone who told me face to face that they are negative over what I read in a profile. HIV status, field or not, is a conversation.

One of the key issues, in my viewpoint, is not the HIV status field, but it is understanding what a statement like HIV-negative really means, especially in our “buyer beware” world of sales and marketing.

How one discloses their status is a personal choice, but disclosing your HIV status honestly is a responsibility we all share, regardless of what we know our status to be, or what we assume it to be.


  1. I recently dated someone I met up with on Adam4Adam. As it turned out, the guy lived right down the street, and we even went to High School together. His profile said HIV Negative. After a month or two, we started having unprotected sex based on limited conversations about our statuses. Luckily, thank GOD, I tested Neg 3x after we broke up. I paid the price in worry and sleepless nights until I got a clear reading. The moral of the story is this: never trust anyone and use protection until you have several clear readings. My story could have come out much differently, so I count myself as a lucky one. I am now just dealing with the reasons I allowed myself to get into that situation in the first place.

  2. There is a deeper issue here, about the stigma behind being HIV+ online. As an HIV+ male, in good shape, and relatively young (39), I have profiles on several sites including Adam4Adam.

    I have often experienced the situation where someone has not read my profile properly, and mid-conversation they actually READ the darn thing, where I self-identify as POZ. The mid-conversation switch in behavior is shocking sometimes.

    Guys, if you are looking for sex online, you should assume someone might have HIV. The reality is that anyone can have the virus, even if they say they are Negative. They might not even know they have it, because testing has not been aggressively promoted and the issue forced by physicians. Its almost like they don't want to know.

    Facts are that one should always read the profile carefully, look for subtle cues about what the truth might be, and understand that a lot of guys still lie about their status or their knowledge of their status. For those of us who are honest and admit we are POZ, be just might find out that we are good guys despite our status.

  3. It's one thing to leave it blank ...but to mark it unsure or don't know when YOU DO know is wrong and should be illegal. It is more than just is deceitful. I see many poz people I know on adam4adam that are indeed poz have negative or unsure marked on their profile. Its not right....sites like these need to have places where other people can mark comments about other peoples profiles such as this guy is poz and I know this as a fact....just to let others know that they are deceiving people on their hiv status....and then the site would force them to change their status, prove their status, or loose their membership


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