PrEP has been around for almost a decade. Various pharmaceutical studies have shown that PrEP can prevent HIV infections.
Long before PrEP, treatment of HIV-positive men has already been so effective that the virus could no longer be transmitted. This concept is called TasP: Treatment as prevention.
With PrEP and TasP, the big issues with HIV seemed resolved. At least on paper. But still too few people know about it.
Back a few years ago, popular gay apps were either ignoring or unintentionally stigmatizing HIV. Some niche sites on the other hand, were specifically designed for HIV positive men, but in doing so, they created a secluded sub-culture. They offered merely a way to self-ostracize from the crowd.
When gay mainstream dating apps started to introduce voluntary HIV status information in the user profiles, including PrEP, more and more people learned about the new options. Yet the fear of HIV remained and still remains today.
If PrEP could effectively prevent HIV infection, and treatment of HIV-positive men is effective, then why are people still so afraid?
Because of the STIGMA and the shame that surrounds this topic. THIS is the real problem we’re faced with today! What we know is not always coherent with how we feel about things.
Sure you can reveal your status on popular apps, but that takes courage even today. You take PrEP and show it? Get ready for some nasty attacks. You are on TasP and show it? You better be prepared to get turned down.
We cannot deny that being HIV positive or using PrEP still causes big controversies among users of generalized gay apps. What good is a status indicator in an environment filled with uninformed, anxious and downright hostile users?
We had our Aha-Moment in 2016: It’s just not as simple as putting a sticker on a profile!
We figured, it’s about time we offer a whole new platform where both HIV-negative and positive men can feel at home. Where status doesn’t matter as long as you know about it and take responsibility.
The idea was born! We started the development of the core product a few months later and in June 2018 BUDDY went live.
We are now building a community of men who want to feel welcome and understood. A place where you don’t have to explain yourself and where you can feel at ease. It’s not enough to offer new labels, we need a fresh new start for a new generation of informed and educated gay men.
We see BUDDY on the forefront of a new safer sex conception. Acceptance, Responsibility and Prevention are our core values.