ABC News reporter and HIV-positive advocate Karl Schmid is going down to the bare essentials this World AIDS Day.
In an eye-catching, timely, and important video message for +Life, Schmid stips down to the nude to talk about the importance of ending the stigma many people around the world living with HIV and AIDS still face.
"HIV/AIDS. Is that still a thing?" Schmid asks in the beginning of the PSA. "YES. It's still a thing we still need to talk about, especially the inequity and inequalities which are keeping us from making it a thing of the past."
Schmid then goes on to talk about what exactly U=U means (undetectable equals untransmittable), how people living with HIV and AIDS aren't victims that need pity, to look at people for who they really are, and other salient points about the ongoing fight to end stigma.
"So, today, World AIDS Day, and every day for that matter, I'm asking you not to look at those of us living with HIV as someone to be afraid of," he continues elsewhere in the video. "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."
"See me, not my HIV."
The release of Schmid's PSA comes at the launch of +Life's newest initiative called "The HIVe Pledge," a new call to action that aims to encourage people to get tested regularly and help fight for more and more medical equity.
"Stigma, fear, and miseducation often cause people to avoid knowing their HIV status," +Life's mission statement for The HIVe Pledge reads. "But getting an HIV test is simple and, in many places, free. Even so, many people avoid the test because they fear the unknown if the result comes back positive."
"Treatment can be scary if you don't know what's up, but the truth is that many people can be treated with one daily pill. Worried you can't afford it? There are plenty of free programs out there to help offset costs. But fighting for medical equity so that everyone can access to testing, care, and treatment, is one of the things we pledge to fight for."
Watch Schmid's full video message below. And for more information on +Life's The HIVe Pledge initiative, visit their official website here.
RELATED | Monogamous, Sexually Active Gay & Bi Men May Be Able to Donate Blood