TV presenter reveals he’s HIV-positive in emotional message
A TV host has come out as HIV-positive in an emotional post on Facebook.
Karl Schmid, a correspondent for ABC, said that he was diagnosed a decade ago, but had been persuaded not to come out by others in the media.
The time, he said, had come to “stand tall and stand proud” for his happiness.
And Schmid, who co-hosted reality show Operation: Vacation during its two seasons from 2013 to 2014 and has covered the Oscars, encouraged others who were HIV-positive to do the same.
“Hi,” he began. “I’m a 37-year-old HIV+ man who has been poz 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 10 years the stigma and industry professionals have said, ‘don’t! It’ll ruin you,’ he explained.
“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,” he continued.
“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,” he told the world.
“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.”
The uplifting tone of the post reached its crescendo with his final message of hope.
“Your feelings, your thoughts, your emotions count,” he wrote. “And don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I’m Karl Schmid, and I’m an HIV-positive man! #whatisrememberedlives”.
The next day, he posted on Twitter to thank everyone for the response, 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.”