Gareth Thomas: Ex-Wales rugby captain reveals he has HIV

Web Desk
September 16,2019

Thomas is believed to be the first British athlete to announce that he is living with the virus. He was also the first professional rugby union player to say that he was gay, when he came out in 2009.

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Rugby legend Gareth Thomas has revealed he is HIV positive, saying he wants to "break the stigma" around the condition.

Thomas is believed to be the first British athlete to announce that he is living with the virus. He was also the first professional rugby union player to say that he was gay, when he came out in 2009.

He has been living with this incurable virus for years.The former British Lions captain, 45, said he was forced to announce his condition after being threatened with blackmail.

The renowned sportsman said he had a fear that people would judge him and treat him like a leper because of a lack of knowledge. He was in a dark place, feeling suicidal. He even thought about driving off a cliff.

He said he wants to show how people with HIV are misrepresented as "walking around with walking sticks who are close to dying".

But Gareth’s condition is now under control to the point it is considered 'undetectable' and cannot be passed on. He also receives regular counselling and check-ups.

He said: "I think if you went out on the street right now and told 10 people you have HIV, 50 per cent of them would be scared you’re going to give it to them.

"I don’t blame people for thinking it, because I did too, but we need to change that by talking about it and educating people."


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