Aiming to empower other HIV positive individuals, ABC Los Angeles correspondent Karl Schmid has opened up about his HIV status, after keeping his status secret for a decade.

The 37-year-old, Australian-born, journalist who is best known for covering red carpet and gala events, such as the Academy Awards, said that he has gone against the advice of many in disclosing his status to the public.

“For 10 years I’ve struggled with ‘Do I or don’t I?’’ Schmid writes on Facebook.

“For ten years the stigma and industry professionals have said, ‘Don’t! It’ll ruin you.’ 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 opened up further about his health and why he was advised to keep his HIV status a secret in his Facebook post saying, “I know who I am, I know what I stand for and while in the past I may not have always had clarity, I do now.”

“Love me or hate me, that’s up to you. But, 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. Your feelings, your thoughts, your emotions count. And don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I’m Karl Schmid, and I’m an HIV-positive man!”

Schmid’s post has since gone viral with more than hundreds of shares and thousands of likes, to which the LA-based reporter later thanked his fans for their “overwhelming” support.

“Today has been insanely overwhelming. I had NO idea that me sharing something would have such an impact,” Schmid writes. “For those of you who dm’d with your stories THANK YOU.”