Karl Schmid, an entertainment reporter for ABC’s affiliate station in Los Angeles, revealed Friday night that he is HIV-positive and has been struggling with the condition for nearly a decade. His emotional Facebook post, in which he made the revelation, went viral.
The 37-year-old correspondent with KABC Channel said he was not sure initially about the decision of coming out publicly about his HIV status. He also said many had warned him to keep quiet about his HIV status as it would “ruin” him in the news and entertainment industry.
“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,” Schmid said.
Schmid added that he decided to open up about his HIV status and ignore the advice he received from those who knew about it because there is no reason why he should not be proud of who he is. The Australian-born reporter’s post came along with a photo of him wearing an AIDS Memorial T-shirt.
“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,” Schmid said, echoing a line from the film “Love, Simon.”
The openly gay host’s post Friday went viral and as of Sunday night had received thousands of likes and shares.
Schmid, who is popularly known for his on-camera ABC7 coverage of events like the Academy Awards and the Vanity Fair Oscars party, was the co-host of Logo TV’s “Operation: Vacation” from 2013 to 2014.
On Saturday night, Schmid shared another post thanking the support he received since he came out about his HIV status.
“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,” Schmid tweeted.