LOS ANGELES, Nov. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In anticipation of World AIDS Day 2020 on December 1st, +Life, dedicated to eliminating the stigma of living with HIV, has launched F+STIGMA, a social media campaign to fight against HIV stigma, while raising awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and education.
To help combat stigma, +Life's campaign F+STIGMA aims to ignite conversations about HIV/AIDS and how stigma is harming those who have the virus as well as acting as a deterrent from people getting tested and accessing proper care. "HIV is not killing people but stigma is and this is what needs to change. We need to talk more about HIV and its advancements, about what U=U means, and we should not be stigmatized by society. We need to have more information on mainstream media about how you contract HIV, prevention and treatments available so that people stop stigmatizing those that are positive and realize that anyone can have HIV and live a completely normal and healthy life," says Karl Schmid, founder and host of +Life.
Australian-born television host and producer Karl Schmid has been busy on American, Canadian and British televisions for the last ten years, including as a host and entertainment correspondent for ABC7/KABC-TV Los Angeles. As perhaps the only openly HIV-positive broadcast journalist on U.S. television, Schmid has used his platform to be a passionate advocate in the fight against HIV stigma.
A recent study released by GLAAD and Gilead found that only half of Americans feel knowledgeable about HIV and 6 in 10 Americans wrongfully believe that "it is important to be careful around people living with HIV to avoid catching it." At a time when people living with HIV lead long and healthy lives, and cannot transmit the virus when on proper medication, these findings demonstrate the need to continue to educate people about the virus as well as raise awareness around the effects of HIV/AIDS stigma.
Karl Schmid, Brent Zacky and Mike Spierer co-created +Life in September 2019 with a mission to destigmatize HIV through insightful interviews, the latest in news and information, candid conversations about sex and health, and first-person accounts of those living with HIV. The platform, featuring discussions with newsmakers and trailblazers including Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Birx, Jonathan Van Ness and Steven Canals, has seen a growth of 111.2% in 2020. Its content now has more than 4 million views and 10 million impressions across its channels.
About AO MEDIA
AO MEDIA is a Los Angeles-based production company dedicated to telling unexpected, powerful and entertaining stories. Recent projects include +Life, a new digital lifestyle brand focused on eliminating the stigma of living with HIV, "Rich and Acquitted," a celebrity true-crime series for REELZ, and GSN's "Cover Story," a look behind the biggest headlines from TV's most popular shows. AO MEDIA is co-founded by Brent Zacky, a television executive who developed and produced programming for entertainment brands including E! Networks, TLC and Logo, and Mike Spierer, a showrunner and media executive with experience in scripted and unscripted content who has managed the launch of channels worldwide.