Clients in the TPS group, but not the other groups, significantly increased in physical attractiveness.

(Health.com) -- Lana, a 38 year-old publicist in Los Angeles, California, was diagnosed with genital herpes in 1997.

Since then, she has "kind of been hiding" from the dating scene.

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.

Efficacy of three different group treatment strategies for teaching dating skills to the developmentally disabled was examined for 41 outpatient adults.

Clients were randomly assigned to one of three groups: traditional problem-solving training (TPS), flexible problem-solving training (FPS), and relaxation training (RT).Role-play assessments were conducted at pretreatment, posttreatment, and at a one-month follow-up.Ratings of social skills based on the role plays favored the TPS and FPS groups over the RT and dropout groups.All of these can make dating -- often an ego-shattering minefield for those in perfect health -- even trickier."On bigger dating sites the competition is tremendous," says Jim Houran, Ph D, a clinical psychologist and columnist for Online Dating Magazine."And let's face it, depending on what [the illness] is, it could very well make you uncompetitive in the larger dating pool." Health.com: 28 days to a healthier relationship Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives.