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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.

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"If you're mentally ill, it's kind of a hostile world out there.

I thought by taking down that whole bugaboo of having an illness, making it all open with everyone knowing, it would facilitate things.

Love for less Niche sites are also a lot less expensive.

Prescription 4 Love, which started charging in May 2009, is $9.95 per month, while most of the features on No Longer Lonely (including the dating service and chat rooms) are still free.

Even in our post-Americans With Disabilities Act society, notes Watson, failing to mention that you're confined to a wheelchair or dealing with another type of handicap might bring a first date to an abrupt end after a courtesy "I'm sorry" drink.

The stigma of mental illness People with physical disabilities aren't the only ones who face stigma while dating.

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.

As one of its first members, he should know: He met his wife, Lynn, at a Date Able Valentine's Day party in 1988.

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