ABC Correspondent Reveals He's HIV-Positive
"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," Karl Schmid wrote in a Facebook post.
Karl Schmid, an on-camera reporter for ABC7 in Los Angeles, on Friday night publicly announced in a Facebook post that he is HIV-positive.
The 37-year-old Australian native and on-camera reporter has covered Hollywood events for the news station including the Academy Awards and the Vanity Fair Oscar party. Schmid, who revealed that he has been living with HIV for over a decade, said industry peers had urged him to stay quiet.
"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,'" Schmid wrote. "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."
The reporter wrote that while he is "on TV from time to time," he is simply "an average guy who wants [what] we all want. To be accepted and loved by our friends and family and to be encouraged by our peers."
Continued Schmid: "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."
Feeling proud to speak out publicly after keeping his virus private for a long period of time, Schmid encouraged others living with the HIV+ diagnosis: "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."