ABC7 correspondent Karl Schmid reveals that he has been HIV positive for the last 10 years.

In a lengthy Facebook post on March 24, the 37-year-old Australian native publicly announced his medical condition to his thousands of followers on social media. He said that it took him a long time to finally come out because his peers in the media industry would tell him that it would ruin his reputation.

"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 said.

The Australian native, who is known for his hosting stints in the Academy Awards and Vanity Fair Oscars party, said he is just like any other average person who wants to be accepted and loved regardless of their condition in life.

Schmid also made a plea to those who have tested HIV positive to "stand tall and stand proud." He added that in these dire times, the key to happiness is not by pleasing others but by telling the truth. Labels, Schmid said, should not define an individual.

"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," Schmid added.

At the time of the posting, Schmid snapped a photo of himself wearing a black Aids Memorial shirt, which is a commemorative to those who are affected by the disease.

Public Support

Since Sunday evening, Schmid's Facebook post has garnered more than 1,600 comments, almost 400 shares, and more than 5,000 likes. A lot of his followers told their own stories and how they can relate to Schmid's struggle.

"God bless you. Don't think that you are alone. Hold your head high and keep smiling and doing a great job," one follower said.

The on-cam reporter took to social media his gratitude for the public support and well wishes as he spent the weekend in Los Angeles.

Critics believe that Schmid's coming out will inspire other people to share their stories especially in the entertainment industry, where HIV/AIDS visibility is rare.

BPM, a movie documentary about Parisian AIDS activists in the 1980s, won the Grand Prix recognition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. Another film, 1985 by Yen Tan, tells the story of Cory Michael Smith, an HIV positive man who went home for his last Christmas.

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