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Ricky Durham founded Prescription 4 Love in 2006, inspired by his late brother Keith, who lived with Crohn's disease for 15 years before passing away in 2004. Though he doesn't find it appropriate to be a member of a community he founded, he says he can empathize with his members.
"He was a good-looking boy, and he could find dates, but when do you tell someone you have a colostomy bag? "It's nice to find someone who's going through what you're going through," he says.
(Health.com) -- Lana, a 38 year-old publicist in Los Angeles, California, was diagnosed with genital herpes in 1997.
Since then, she has "kind of been hiding" from the dating scene.
Let's face it: How do you drop that bomb on a potential love interest? She considered a number of online dating venues, but she says asked too many questions on its enrollment form, e Harmony was too "religious," and My Space was too much of a "hookup zone." "I wanted to meet men with my same diagnosis so we wouldn't [need to] have 'the talk,' or fear of rejection and transmitting," she says.
"Most of us with this don't wish to spread it." Despite -- or perhaps because of -- the economic downturn, the billion-dollar online dating industry has been booming. While sites like and e Harmony don't discriminate, they also don't cater to people like Lana who are coping with sexually transmitted diseases, disabilities, or mental health conditions.
"On bigger dating sites the competition is tremendous," says Jim Houran, Ph D, a clinical psychologist and columnist for Online Dating Magazine.
Senior citizens and people with disabilities may qualify to have their rent frozen.
Through RAP, restaurants have the opportunity to advertise that they are wheelchair-friendly.
"And let's face it, depending on what [the illness] is, it could very well make you uncompetitive in the larger dating pool." Health.com: 28 days to a healthier relationship Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives.
A new breed of dating sites has emerged to play cupid for people with chronic diseases and disabilities.
Both sites require members to disclose their illnesses upfront, clearing the air for what might be a deal-breaking revelation later.