We’re Re-introducing HIV Status and Safer Sex to Gaydar

Gaydar Blog

Gaydar Blog
30 November 2017

For this year’s Worlds Aids Day, we thought we’d re-introduce Safer Sex and HIV Status in our users’ profiles. Why did we do that? We wanted to encourage you guys to have open dialogues about your sexual preferences and practices. It’s important to us, and, in the nicest way possible, it should be important to you too.

You might argue that Gaydar is in its teenage years… in more ways than one. The way we see it: We’ve been around for almost two decades. That’s twice as long as Adam Lambert! More than long enough to have witnessed a fair bit of transformation in our community. Let’s all agree we’ve come a long way: When it comes to LGBT rights things are better today than ever before, and the same goes for improvement in gay men’s sexual health. Yet, now is not the time to stop caring. No, it’s not.

In 2016, the Terrence Higgins Trust reported a 21% decrease in HIV diagnoses compared to the previous year. It’s encouraging, but here’s why no one, not even you, should rest on their laurels. Safer sex is no longer just about whether or not you use condoms, let’s be honest. It’s 2017. Getting tested regularly, disclosing your status, taking PrEP or simply having open discussions with your sexual partners are all ways of limiting the risks to pass or getting an STI.

You’re probably wondering why we took this away in the first place.  Well not everyone feels comfortable talking about sexual health and HIV.  Since our new Managing Director, Rob Curtis, arrived at Gaydar in October, he’s challenged us to remember that being part of the gay community means fighting for that community, even when it feels uncomfortable.  He also reminded us of legacy as one of the first gay sites to reach out directly to members to educate them on safer sex.

To make sure that we’re got the best possible approach, we’ve partnered with the leading London-based sexual health clinic to discuss ways to encourage our users to take their sexual health seriously. So starting December 1st, as the first step in that direction, we are re-introducing HIV status and Safer Sex to Gaydar. This is nothing revolutionary, we know it, but we’re hopeful that it will open doors.

To edit your preferences, simply sign in to your profile (on the site or iOS app), then hit the menu icon at the top right and select “My Profile”.

For those of you interested in learning a bit more about ways to improve their sexual health and that of their partners, feel free to refer to the following resources:

56 Dean Street
Terrence Higgins Trust
I Want Prep Now

Comments (9)

  1. Avatar Norminaus says:

    I think the re-introduction of HIV status is good and about time.
    How about you re-introduce all the other good items you deleted for example “cut or uncut”

  2. Avatar lekkeekke says:

    I agree with Norminaus. You MUST re-introduce all the good items you deleted for example cock size, age group the person is interested in, etc. It really wastes your time if you write to a guy and he is not in the age group that you are looking for or rather he is looking for. You MUST add AGE GROUP to save time and to stop the humiliation because guys get angry when an old guy writes to a teen that is not interested in older guys.

    • Avatar Eddie says:

      If someone’s so touchy that they’re going to get ‘angry’ because they’re contacted by someone who isn’t within their desired age range, then they need to write what they want on their profile, don’t they. That’s what the ‘ABOUT ME’ section is for.

  3. Avatar lekkeekke says:

    Cock size is absolutely necessary. You must give guidelines, for example small 4 inches and less; large 5 to 7 inches and extra large 8 + inches. Guys have no clue what the different sizes mean. I do not know what measurement you must use, however, it will be helpful if you can give the sizes in inches or centimetres.

  4. Avatar Eddie says:

    Regarding regular testing. If you *need* to be tested *regularly* it means you *know* something’s happened since the last test that might have compromised your safety and changed your status. How is this in any way responsible behaviour?

    • Rob Curtis Rob Curtis says:

      Hi Eddie – thanks for the comment. Around 1 in 6 people living with HIV aren’t aware that they’re positive. So a policy of regular testing which has been in place for more than a decade protects everyone.

      Not to mention, of course, that people that are using PREP to protect themselves against HIV may be susceptable to other STIs including chlamydia, gonorrhea etc so regular testing not only protects oneself but future partners.

      🙂

      • Avatar Eddie says:

        I’d date someone I liked regardless of his HIV status but still even today, not everyone feels this way. So while around 1 in 6 people living with HIV aren’t aware of it, how many of the other 5 are going to honestly announce their status to their prospective sexual partners, potentially risking rejection? The truth is some will and some won’t. Also while the STI’s you mention are curable, there are others besides HIV which aren’t. There’s also the reality of new antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria developing, making previously curable STI’s difficult to get rid of. For these reasons I think it’s up to the individual to protect themself if they’re concerned about these issues, regardless of what they’re told about the status of their partners. Thank you Rob and the Gaydar team for promoting a conversation about these things – the fact that we’re now invited to disclose such info on our profiles is a forward thinking move on your part.

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