Industry experts told L.A. reporter Karl Schmid, “Don’t—it’ll ruin you.”

A reporter with ABC News came out as HIV positive in a heartfelt Facebook post that’s gone viral.

Karl Schmid, a 37-year-old correspondent with KABC Channel 7 in L.A., usually covers human interest and entertainment stories, including this year’s Academy Awards.

But the Australian journalist became the subject of the story on Friday, when he decided to share his status. “For ten years I’ve struggled with ‘do I or don’t I?’” wrote Schmid. “For ten years the stigma and industry professionals have said, ‘Don’t! It’ll ruin you.”’

Echoing a line from Love, Simon, Schmid added, “But here’s the thing. I’m me. I’m just like you. 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.”

Schmid says he knows his disclosure may turn off some viewers, but the motivation he can offer to someone newly diagnosed is more than worth it.

“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.”

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