ABC News affiliate correspondent Karl Schmid came out as HIV positive via a Facebook post on Friday night, despite multiple peers reportedly telling him to keep it a secret for the sake of his career.
Schmid is a 37-year-old Australian native, and has been covering human interest stories and major events in ABC's local affiliate in Los Angeles, ABC7.
"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 wrote.
Despite the warnings from peers initially reported by The Wrap., Schmid said he's proud to have revealed his truth.
"I'm me. I'm just like you," Schmid worte. "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.
"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. 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."
Schmid ended his post by saying he hopes he can inspire others to not be afraid to admit publicly if they're HIV positive.
"Love me or hate me, that's up to you," Schmid wrote. "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."