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ABC correspondent Karl Schmid comes out as HIV-positive

Reporter says he was warned not to reveal his status: ‘For ten years the stigma and industry professionals have said, “Don’t! It’ll ruin you.”’

ABC correspondent Karl Schmid comes out as HIV-positive
Karl Schmid (Photo: @karljschmid | Instagram)

A reporter with ABC’s Los Angeles affiliate has revealed that he is HIV positive. He chose to reveal the news via his Instagram and Facebook.

Karl Schmid later went on to thank the many people who posted messages of support.

In the posting, he’s pictured wearing a T-shirt promoting @theaidsmemorial – a much-loved Instagram page dedicated to those lost to the virus.

Karl Schmid

@karljschmid | Instagram

‘I have a big heart and I want to be loved and accepted’

In the original posting, Schmid said, ‘Hi. I’m a 37 year old HIV positive man who has been positive for almost 10 years. I work in television. And on the side of the camera where, for better or worse it’s considered “taboo” for people “like me” to be “like me.”

‘For 10 years I’ve struggled with “do I or don’t I”?

‘For ten years the stigma and industry professionals have said, “don’t! It’ll ruin you.”

‘But here’s the thing. I’m me. I’m just like you. I have a big heart and I want to be loved and accepted. I may be on TV from time to time, but at the end of the day I’m just an average guy who wants want we all want. To be accepted and loved by our friends and family and to be encouraged by our peers.

‘So here’s what I say, stand tall and stand proud.

‘You can’t make everybody happy but you can make you happy. And so long as you tell the truth, you will never have to remember anything. Labels are things that come and go but your dignity and who you are is what defines you.

‘I know who I am, I know what I stand for and while in the past I may not have always had clarity, I do now. Love me or hate me, that’s up to you. But, for anyone who has ever doubted themselves because of those scary three letters and one symbol, let me tell you this, you are somebody who matters.

‘Your feelings, your thoughts, your emotions count. And don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

‘I’m Karl Schmid, and I’m an HIV-positive man!’

‘Today has been insanely overwhelming’

Schmid, who is originally from Australia, covers Hollywood and human interest stories for the channel. He has reported live from the Academy Awards and Vanity Fair Oscar party.

He followed up his original posting on Saturday with a message expressing gratitude for the messages of support he’d received.

‘Today has been insanely overwhelming. I had NO idea that me sharing something would have such an impact. For those of you who dm’d with your stories THANK YOU.’

Karl Schmid

@karljschmid Today has been insanely overwhelming. I had NO idea that me sharing something would have such an impact. For those of you who dm’d with your stories THANK YOU. Tonight, I’m hanging out with my best friend and enjoying the talent that is @taylormacnyc in DTLA

‘People living with HIV often feel nervous about telling others’

Stuart, the founder of @theaidsmemorial Instagram told GSN: ‘I’m very proud of the fact that [Schmid] chose the aids memorial as a vehicle to help him “come out” – and at the same time you can see him proudly wearing the aids memorial t shirt in aids of housing works.

‘People living with HIV often feel nervous about telling others that they have HIV due to the fear of stigma or discrimination. In doing so, I know, especially from the feedback, he has helped many realise that HIV is not something to be ashamed of. And that they don’t need to live in isolation.’

See also

Heartbreaking account of gay man’s final phone call goes viral


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