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Karl Schmid Battles HIV Stigma In Sexy FB Post

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Instead of asking someone if they’re “clean” why not ask them if they know their HIV status? 

 

In another highly engaged Facebook post superstar journalist and Plus cover star Karl Schmid said:

"Little changes like that go A LONG way in fighting the stigma that all HIV+ people face. Let’s #stophivstigma together." #uequalsu #visibilitymatters#iamclean #squeaky #knowyourstatus #sciencenotstigma

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In our cover story Schmid said: 

“I don’t walk around going ‘I’m HIV-positive!’ I just don’t. I’ve lived with it for 10 years. I’m perfectly healthy and a mostly moderately sane person, so when it came to that moment on that Friday evening [when he came out publicly] — I don’t want to come across as sounding douchey — but I was comfortable in that moment. I thought it was a nice photo, and it was my way of putting my story link in with The AIDS Memorial and promoting that T-shirt. That was it. I went to bed that night and didn’t think about it. When I woke up the next morning I noticed it had a bit of traction, and then by 10 A.M. on Saturday morning my Twitter blew up, and then Instagram. You know prior, I’m a nobody with like 2,000 followers, and then the numbers are going up. Then I get an alert about The Wrap writing this up and it’s all going crazy.”

Schmid has come to understand how and why what he did on an impulse affected so many people so profoundly. HIV visibility is so low that when a celebrity or public figure like Schmid comes out, it inspires pride in many people who are still burdened by stigma.

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Savas Abadsidis

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