Karl Schmid is an entertainment reporter for ABC’s affiliate station in Los Angeles. Over the weekend, he came out as HIV-positive in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.

In the post, Schmid writes:

Hi. I’m a 37 year old HIV+ man who has been poz for almost ten 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’.


Schmid goes on to say he’s decided to ignore that advice. He’s proud of who he is and sees absolutely no reason to feel ashamed or hide his status.

“I’m me. I’m just like you. I have a big heart and I want to be loved and accepted,” he writes. “So here’s what I say, stand tall, and stand proud. You can’t make everybody happy but you can make you happy.”

Related: This poz bear says he is DONE internalizing other people’s shame and HIV stigma

He concludes the heartfelt post with a few words of encouragement for other HIV-positive people:

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!

Afterwards, Schmid was met with outpouring of support. He expressed his gratitude on Twitter, writing: “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.”

Related: These HIV-undetectable men have something important to say, and it’s worth your time

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