A booming app industry in Silicon Valley means that new STI dating services pop up every few months, and a cursory Google search means that their marketing team, or their founder, or their intern, quickly discovers me. As time goes on and stigma lessens, there will be less of a demand for these services.I think most people who have had herpes for a few years know this too.The only people who ask me about herpes dating sites have just been diagnosed and are still daunted by the idea of disclosing—a fear I encourage them to tackle instead of pursuing these trap door dating sites. They reinforce the impulse of scared, raw people to hate themselves and hide from the rest of the world. Not to mention these products are often cheap and tacky. Herpes dating apps rely on, profit from and contribute to the social stigma that I am absolutely against. Creating a dating app only for people with herpes feeds into the prejudice that people with STIs shouldn’t date people without STIs. In a world where we are judged for having a sexually transmitted condition, telling a new partner about herpes means risking a rejection that plenty of herpes people would rather avoid. There is a market for these services, and I don’t want to dismiss the experiences of the people who use them. I don’t mean to knock the insecurities of people with herpes: I want to address the companies that profit off of them. Herpes dating services have been around since the Internet was invented, thanks to a powerful social stigma that makes disclosing your STI status a frightening prospect for many of us.When you round up a vulnerable and isolated population, create a community space and fail to moderate it or protect your users, you create a dangerous environment.These folks would be better served by a support community than a dating app.Having a minor skin condition in common is a shoddy foundation for a healthy relationship.I’ve dated people with herpes and I’ve dated people without it.