+Life counters HIV stigma with powerful new weekly video series

+Life is a new digital lifestyle brand which focuses on combating the stigma facing those living with HIV. Available on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at PlusLifeMedia.com, +Life is produced by AOMEDIA and provides original content that shatters stereotypes, myths and inaccuracies about living with HIV. The +Life team will be working with GLAAD on upcoming videos and has already attended several GLAAD events where they have brought up much needed discussions of HIV.

The creation of +Life was inspired by Karl Schmid, an internationally known entertainment reporter who has been a featured talent on leading networks including KABC, ABC.com, TLC and Logo, as well as on programming in his native Australia. Schmid opened up about his own HIV-positive status in a Facebook post in 2018. Schmid serves as +Life’s editorial director, and will use the platform to continue sharing his message and educating others on the realities of living with HIV.

+Life launched with an original weekly video series called “+Talk.” Hosted by Schmid, it features honest conversations and empowering information around topics like the recent undetectable = untransmittable public education work. New content will be added regularly across social media channels, with +Talk episodes available on Facebook and YouTube.

“I kept my diagnosis secret for 10 long years because some well-meaning people I trusted told me that revealing my status would ruin my career. Did I really want to be known as ‘the guy on TV with AIDS?’ Then one afternoon while scrolling through The AIDS Memorial Instagram account, I was inspired to overcome my fear, and decided to share my positive status,” said Schmid. “I was amazed at the overwhelming support I immediately received from loved ones and strangers around the world, and my hope for +Life, is that it helps others learn they too, have the freedom to live and love proudly, and help change stigma-induced fear common among those living with the disease in private. A positive HIV status is not something that should hold anyone back from achieving their dreams and living life to its fullest potential.”

More than 37 million people globally are living with HIV today. Today, people who have HIV and engage in proper medical treatment can’t pass it on and live long, healthy, and productive lives, however, stigma remains and impacts access to health care, employment, and community.

+Life has plans for additional programming including interviews with newsmakers and activists, as well as relaying the latest in practical medical information. +Life will also address topics related to sex, dating and relationships, from the perspective of people living with HIV and their partners.

“+Life is for those living with HIV, the people who support them, and anyone at risk of contracting the disease - which is everyone,” said Executive Producers Brent Zacky and Michael Spierer, AOMEDIA. “Fear and lack of information can literally be a death sentence for people who do not get tested or are afraid to seek treatment. Our goal is to entertain while we educate, building a community and providing the facts everyone needs to lead happy, healthy, complete lives.”