News reporter Karl Schmid hopes to reduce HIV stigma by being open about his HIV status.
Schmid also said that industry professionals had warned that revealing his status would ruin his career.
In a recent interview with the Star Reporter, Schmid said that the response had “for the most part been overwhelmingly positive and supportive,” and that he was surprised by how the story continues to make the news.
Born and raised in Australia, Karl Schmid moved to the US in 2008. He now reports for K-ABC in Los Angeles. He has interviewed celebrities including Oprah and Lady Gaga and has also hosted red carpet shows for Dancing with the Stars and the Oscars.
“The stigma associated with HIV is one of the main reasons HIV/AIDS is still spreading at an alarming rate”
When asked about the stigma around HIV, particularly from within the LGBT+ community, Schmid said: “The stigma associated with HIV is one of the main reasons HIV/AIDS is still spreading at an alarming rate in some parts of the world.”
He added: “It shocks me and saddens me that within the younger gay community there is so much stigma and discrimination towards those of us [who] live with HIV.”
Schmid said that he has been asked if he is ‘clean’ when inquired about his health. He said that it is “not only offensive but it’s incredibly ignorant.”
“It’s time we have a new and very real conversation about what it means to be HIV-positive in this day and age and hopefully by me telling my story I’m helping to facilitate that a little.”
— Karl Schmid
“People must understand that being healthy and undetectable means that there is zero risk of transmitting the infection to anyone else.”
Schmid recently talked at the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation’s ‘Challenging HIV Stigma’ panel at City Recital Hall in Sydney, Australia.
Schmid said it was important that we “start to educate people on the facts. It’s not 1984 anymore.”