What made you decide to create your website?
I started it to help a friend who was HIV-positive; he always spoke about how difficult it was to disclose his status to a girl, so I advised him to try online dating. However, disclosing his HIV status to women once they met remained a problem. So I decided to create this site to help him, and others like him. Membership is free.
What impact has the site had so far?
We currently have 1 652 registered members. I’ve also had a number of emails from users thanking me for the site and saying it’s made their lives a little easier.
Do people accuse your site of encouraging discrimination?
I get that a lot – but you must understand how difficult it is for someone to tell a total stranger that they’re HIV-positive, especially in the dating context. So when people meet on the site, HIV-positive users know everyone else there has the virus too.
Are there only South Africans using your site?
No – I have users from around the world. In fact, 46% of my members are from outside SA, including Vietnam – which really surprised me! But my ultimate goal is to export this concept to other countries.
What’s been the most rewarding aspect of launching this website?
My good friend Richard Yell, who passed away at the beginning of this year, helped with the initial research for setting up the site. He was also a member and I’m glad that he was able to find love before he passed away.