A new gay sugardaddy app, Daddybear, is doubling down on its disgusting stance regarding HIV-positive guys not being allowed on the app. Many are understandably outraged.
The app’s About Page claims that “daddies” are “rich men who have more money and social wealth than you do,” and everyone should aspire to date one because “most mature gay daddies grew up under the macro environment of AIDS epidemic and scare, so they know how to protect themselves and you, and enjoy safe sex with you.”
Someone representing the app clarified its stance in the comments section of a Queerty article:
With the fact that most gay men care more about health than sex when seeking gay relationship, we create this gay dating app to meet their needs. If you are worried about meeting gay men who are living with HIV, then you can feel relieved with our App because we are trying our best to make sure that all users you meet will be healthy and without HIV, starting from adding a feature to allow users to verify their health condition.
In an email interview with INTO’s Mathew Rodriguez, the CEO of Daddybear doubled down on the app’s philosophy:
No one would like to date people living with HIV unless he is living with it. Most gay sugar daddies are not living with HIV, so they don’t want to bring home any unwanted souvenirs. However, we support that gay men living with HIV have the right to date with other gays with HIV. But many rich and successful gay sugar daddies do not want to date with gay men living with HIV, which is the reason why we launched this app to meet their needs.
Gay social networking apps are already plagued with stigma against people living with HIV. It’s all apps’ responsibility to provide a platform that hinders that discrimination, not heightens it.
Hornet’s Know Your Status (KYS) feature encourages gay men to openly express their HIV status within the app. The act of affirmatively declaring one’s HIV status can be particularly empowering for HIV-positive guys, and KYS allows HIV-positive users to find other HIV-positive guys on the app if they choose. It’s a simple search function that serves to combat the isolation experienced by many living with HIV.