Gay Adult Film Star Sean Zevran On Why Hookup Apps Shouldn't Ask HIV Status

Gay adult film performer Sean Zevran opens up on why he feels gay hookup/dating apps shouldn't include the optional field to declare your HIV-positive or negative status as part of Paper magazine's 'Outspoken' issue.

Read Zevran's full op-ed in Paper here; here's an excerpt:

There is certainly nothing wrong with someone being public about his or her HIV-status, but by allowing people to identify themselves, at least in part, by this attribute on a public profile, dating apps put pressure on HIV-positive people to out themselves. It's a tacit promotion of "serosorting," which is discrimination based on HIV-status. There is the option to leave this field blank and most apps do not allow users to filter members based on HIV-status alone. However for subscribers who choose not to publicly disclose their status, I suspect it will invite suspicion in much the same way it does when users don't disclose their age, weight, ethnicity or relationship status. Thus it will have the unintended consequence of alienating users who are honest or choose not to publicly disclose their status.

I understand the option to list HIV-status on these apps is a nod toward public health and that is commendable, but I'm skeptical of its efficacy. There's nothing to stop someone from lying about their HIV-status in their profile, and so those who are actually honest about being HIV-positive will be the ones to suffer. Any user of these apps knows how downright hateful people can be on them, particularly when anonymous. Those who choose to disclose their status could end up enduring unnecessary cruelty. Their honesty will be punished, and I don't think we will be any better off than before.

What are your thoughts on the inclusion of HIV status in hookup/dating apps?

 

(H/T: Queerty)

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Everyone needs to learn to understand that it is no ones responsibility but your own to maintain your negative status. Just because someone says that they are negative doesn't mean they are. They may not know they they were infected since their last test or they could be lying. Either way it's a terrible way to prevent yourself from contracting HIV. Use a condom and PrEP and if you don't and contract HIV then you're the only person to blame.

By serosorting out the honest people who admit they are positive and having unprotected sex with people who claim to be negative you have it all backwards. An undetectable positive person has a lower risk of transmitting HIV than a sexually active negative person who hasn't been tested in less than six months. 

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How about HIV negative people fucking take care of themselves and stop blaming others for their stupid choices....we are all in this together and the responsibility lies with you!  

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Having status designations on these sites has done NOTHING to reduce transmissions which actually have gone up in many age groups which is exactly what the pharmaceutical companies want!! Fear hate and non-disclosure do not promote safe sex or curb new infections! We need a deeper conversation and better support system to wipe out HIV!

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I agree that you shouldn't "have" to disclose your status on a platform that does absolutely nothing for risk transmission. However once in person and contact has been made, and based on the direction the encounter would take, it's very important to have a conversation about it. We are all quick to judge and make assumptions anyway however full disclosure when risky behaviors are introduced is imperative.

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HIV is a potentially fatal infection, to not disclose it is not ok. It sucks if you are positive, but to put others at risk because of negligence is not ok. If you do or do not have it on your profile that is fine as long as you disclose it somewhere along the way imo

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