I started www.HIVPOZ.NET in the summer of 1996, it came about from a broken heart. I had just ended a 2 year relationship with a woman who was HIV negative. At that time I had just gotten a computer, a pentium 1 – 133Mhz, it was screaming fast and cost me $2,500.  Ahh those were the days…

I started looking on the internet and didn’t see any dating sites for HIV Positive people, and at that time I felt that one should be started. I didn’t know how to create a website so I taught myself basic HTML and started the worlds first HIV Positive Heterosexual dating site. People just had to send me their ad and a picture and I would put it on the site by hand.

It was fun and it was exciting because I would get emails from people thanking me for he service and it had given people HOPE. For the first time since a diagnosis, people didn’t feel that they wouldn’t be loved anymore. They had a chance, a chance to find someone who knows what they are going through, who would care about them and love them back. It was something that made me feel like I was helping people.

After a while I figured out how to make posting automatic, and the site kept getting more and more people. People could go to the site and write their ad and it would post it automatically. I was moving forward. At about this time I had my first experience with Nigerian scammers. Someone had notified me that I owed them a bunch of money because they had given someone from my dating site, several hundreds of dollars. This was for a plane ticket from Nigeria to America, to come see “My Love”.

I had to explain to him that I was sorry he had been duped out of that money but it was not my problem and that I didn’t owe it to him. We learn, and we learn quickly. I had to go back to resorting to hand placing the ads again so the scammers could be filtered out. This was not an easy job but it needed to be done.

Right around this time I was contacted buy a guy named Adam, who wanted to know how I ran my dating site and how he might do the same. I told him about having people email in ads, about the free email addresses they could get to remain anonymous, and he took teh idea and RAN. He created a site called HETEROCHAT. He created a non-profile site that provided information about HIV, treatment as well as dating, a dating site and a very popular chat room called HETEROCHAT.

I don’t care for chat room as I always got into arguments online with whatever rotten apple was around, so I stayed away from the chat room but I was impressed by what he had done. He had a couple parties that people from all over came to and I think he even had a cruise for Positive Singles.

Then Heterochat suddenly stopped. It disappeared and it was never to be heard from again. From my understanding the guy who ran it, Adam, had some sort of record and most likely either violated his parole or he did something new to get himself into trouble. I haven’t heard from him in years. We used to talk occasionally and traded business secrets and tactics.

Around this time I started to see emails coming in from gay people asking to be able to put an ad on the site too, apparently there weren’t any dating sites for gay HIV Positive people. I declined for a while but then it just started to get to be that everyday I was getting email from people asking to put an add up. I decided to make the site all encompassing. No one would be turned away. Sexual preference didn’t matter anymore.

A short time later I started to see a few new dating sites for HIV Positive people, but they were charging money for there services. I was pissed. I couldn’t believe that people would try to capitalize on the likes of someone who had a potential life threatening illness. But then it hit me, I needed to do the same as well, to help pay for hosting costs and to stay competitive. I also realized it helped to keep the scammers off the site, because they didn’t want to spend money to scam money.

So came the turn of the century and I was now charging for my services, I had also gotten a domain name specific to the site, but most of the good names were taken. A guy named Daveyboy from Canada started grabbing a lot of the good names and making info sites, dating sites, chat rooms and stuff. Which is why I have a “Dot Net’ and not a “Dot Com”. I do have a dot com now but I am reluctant to change the sites address, maybe someday. Anyway Daveyboy is a pretty talented guy, and I have always just sorta watched from a distance at all the stuff he is doing.

I invested some money into my site and bought the software to run the dating site, as a real dating site, and here we are, September 15th, 2009. I am still running this site, and I am still providing the service I started out to. There are a couple people on the site that have been with the site ever since it started 13+ years ago.

My Daughter, who is HIV Negative, turns 1 tomorrow. I am very happy and my wife is awesome and supports me through all of this that I do. She is also HIV Negative.

There you have it, the brief but long history of HIVPOZ.NET




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