In an op-ed, reporter Karl Schmid, who
came out HIV+ in 2018, explains the power behind the message of
Undetectable Equals Untransmittable.
Writing in LGBT glossy The Advocate,
Schmid said that being diagnosed HIV+ at 27 felt like a sentence.
News reporter Karl Schmid comes out as HIV-positive.)
“That shame. That disappointment in
myself. That feeling that I had 'fucked up' is something I think is
universally felt by people who get an HIV diagnosis,” he
“Over the coming days, weeks, months,
years, I came to terms with my sentence. I call it a sentence because
that’s exactly what I felt I was facing. From the moment she said,
'you’ve tested positive,' I felt like a pair of handcuffs had been
slapped on me. And again, I think that’s a pretty universal feeling
for people who receive an HIV diagnosis. It wasn’t until a man
named Bruce Richman slid into my DMs via Twitter that I learned this
couldn’t have been further of the truth. If it wasn’t for him and
his tireless work along with many activists advocating the U=U
message, which is based 100 percent on science (and is fact!), would
still be saying (and believing) that I am 'damaged goods' or 'toxic'
or 'not worth the risk.'”
Undetectable Equals Untransmittable has
not just changed my life, but the lives of millions of people living
around the world who believed their HIV diagnosis – even though it
was no longer a death sentence – was still a sentence all the same.
The problem is, the U=U science is still not getting out in the
mainstream and connecting with the masses as it should. We seem stuck
in the 1980s and early 90s when fear was used to shock and scare
people into action,” he said.
Schmid helped launch +Life to amplify
“+Life is a digital lifestyle brand
that lives across all social media platforms on @pluslifemedia and at
that unites and brings together people from all walks of life. All
colors, all genders and gender identities, all religions and beliefs
and shows us through digital programming and social posts how to turn
positive into a plus,” Schmid said.