Navigation Links Launches STD Social Networking Site Balancing Dating with Online Support Features

SALINE, Mich., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- (, a new online support network for those affected by STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), today announced its official launch into the online social networking and dating scene.

The site is the result of two years of R&D and features new technology intended to provide members living with HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, Herpes, and HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) varying levels of privacy they can personalize to their own comfort levels. Utilizing proprietary ID masking technology, members can manipulate images they upload, giving them the option of cropping or blurring their photos, and to participate without compromising their anonymity.

According to the CDC, there are over 65 million Americans currently living with an STD, 19 million new STD infections each year, one in three sexually active men and women living with Herpes, and about 50% of all sexually active Americans affected by HPV. With one-third of all single and dating Americans now exploring online personal ads (BusinessWeek, 2006), the market for specialized, niche dating and social services has never been hotter.

"It was important we position the dating service in the context of a socially responsible community," stated Michael Hummel, founder and CEO of "Our members learn to cope with their problems through the exchange of experience, strength and hope. The sharing of problems binds individuals and groups together in an environment protected by a policy of anonymity, and this facilitates use of the flirting and dating features in an emotionally healthy manner."

Positive Friends educates users with up-to-date research along with links to forward thinking resources. Dr. Rachel Needle, a clinical researcher and sex therapist whose studies include sexual function and dysfunction, relationship concerns, sexual compulsivity, trauma, and sexually transmitted infections, serves as Director of Health Education. She offers professional guidance regarding healthy living despite positive labels and provides quick answers to questions in her "Ask Dr. Rachel" area.

"Positive Friends provides an enormous range and depth of STD-related health facts," added Dr. Needle. "Our professional and peer-to-peer support allow users to find solid information in a comfortable atmosphere. As with other diseases, not only the one who is afflicted with the disease is affected by it and Positive Friends supports the STD positive individual, as well as their friends and family."

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