In honor of World AIDS Day, ABC journalist and HIV advocate Karl Schmid quite literally bares all — his heart, soul, and body — in a new PSA.
"So, today, World AIDS Day, and every day for that matter" says Schmid in the video, "I’m asking you not to look at those of us living with HIV as someone to be afraid of.... Look at us for who we really are. And to make that easy for you, today I’m baring it all. Stripping it all down 'cause I’ve got nothing to hide."
Schmid's video is timed to launch along with +Life's "HIVe Pledge" initiative, a worldwide marketing campaign, movement, and call to action encouraging all people, regardless of identity, to commit to getting regularly tested and provide resources to do so.
The HIVe Pledge consists of three main components: testing, treatment, and medical equity. Getting tested and knowing your status for HIV, positive or negative, ensures you follow the right steps for a clear path to treatment or prevention. If you are HIV+, getting on proper treatment will get you to undetectable levels, and PrEP will prevent HIV- partners from contracting the virus. In either scenario, treatment is a crucial step to ending new infections and not transmitting HIV.
Also, as noted in the HIVe Pledge's mission statement, fighting for medical equity is vital because "inequity anywhere creates inequity everywhere. Without everyone having access to the same medications and treatments, we can never eradicate HIV. Therefore, we must all fight for medical equity."
Watch Schmid's exclusive video message below, in which he bravely bares all to spread the word: