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I thought at the time that the girl who gave it to me and I were the only people in the world who had it."But John and his date are far from alone.
And the growing number of people in similar situations has created a new industry: Internet dating sites just for people with STDs.
Even knowing when to tell a prospective boyfriend about herpes is tough.
"It's confusing, because you don't know when the right time is to tell somebody.
(CNN) -- When John got divorced after 12 years of marriage, he took a deep breath and launched into the dating scene."And wham, with my very first girlfriend, I caught herpes," he says.
"You feel betrayed and all of a sudden separated from the rest of the world.
"I would have been happy to have had just one person to unload everything I was feeling," he says.
Transdr, a new dating app for people who identify as transgender, launched in the UK in March.
From to stdmatch.net, Web sites abound for the infected who want to date the infected. One in four women is infected with genital herpes, and nearly one in five men according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And a study in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association finds that one in four women has human papillomavirus, which can cause genital warts and cervical cancer.(Interactive: Test your STD knowledge) Once John got over the initial shock of his diagnosis, one of the first things he did was go online.
But then later, "I have people sending me thank you e-mails all the time.
A guy came to a support group meeting and sent me flowers."Since many of the members have not come out to family and friends, a password is needed to get into the photo gallery showing pictures of social events and to receive any specific information about members.
Tinder offers 37 gender identity options for users.