Doing a Good Deed?

BY Bob Adams

April 13 2006 11:00 PM ET

Beyond the less tense approach of seeking romance with someone who's in the same HIV boat as you and avoiding the disclosure-stigma issue, there's another potential benefit to seeking a partner on an all-HIVer dating site. It might help to curb cases of new infections.

San Francisco's new HIV-infection rate among gay and bisexual men has been cut nearly in half over the past four years'from 2.2% to 1.2% annually. Officials think they know part of the reason'serosorting, or seroselecting, the process of choosing only sex partners who are similarly HIV-positive.

'As an HIV prevention strategy, serosorting is quite effective for positive and negative couples,' Mitch Katz, the city's public-health director, told the San Francisco Chronicle. HIV-positive people don't have to worry about infecting others, and HIV-negative people aren't exposed to the virus.

It's also an enormous psychological relief for HIVers who don't have to disclose their infections and face possible rejection by an HIV-negative person, adds Brian Basinger of AIDS Housing Alliance. 'Seroselecting is like choosing somebody who is in the same church,' he explained to the Chronicle. 'They just get it. You don't have to explain.'

Health officials say traditional HIV prevention programs as well as successful antiretroviral therapy that lowers the infectiousness of HIVers are also contributing to the decreasing HIV rate.

And who knows. The good karma you could get from not taking chances with an HIV-negative date might help you find that one perfect love who's been eluding you for too long.

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