I know plenty of HIV-negative guys who are comfortable sleeping freely with strangers they believe or assume to be negative, but the moment someone discloses that they are positive, they lock the door, paralyzed by fear and discrimination.
On the Mister app and on Daddy Hunt.com, we discourage users to use the term and ask our users to report people who do.
After all, we don't tolerate racist profiles or verbal harassment.
Some would rather have cancer than live with the stigma of the infection, where a diagnosis is filled with not only internalized gay shame but a sense of fault: Nationally, 20 percent of gay and bisexual men are estimated to be living with HIV.
Some are aware of their status and are being treated; others are not aware at all.
Some leave the question of status blank or even list their status as negative.
Others may list their status upfront but refrain from showing their faces.
And those of us who are HIV-negative need to stop using words like "clean" in our profiles to describe ourselves.
"Clean" implies that people who are HIV-positive are dirty.
Whether they know their status or not, there are hundreds of thousands of gay men living with HIV, hooking up and falling in love.
Many HIV-negative men I know live and love in a seemingly blissful denial, pretending HIV isn't already enmeshed in their dating and sex lives.
We know now, as we knew then, that being gay doesn't foretell an HIV diagnosis.