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Health & Fitness Gareth Thomas describes fears of dying to Prince Harry after HIV diagnosis

07:30  16 november  2019
07:30  16 november  2019 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

Rugby star Gareth Thomas has been forced to come out as HIV positive

Rugby star Gareth Thomas has been forced to come out as HIV positive Former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas has revealed he is living with HIV in a moving video, but said he had been “forced” to share the information. Thomas, 45, also said he wants to “break the stigma” around people living with HIV and show how people who are HIV positive are misrepresented as “walking around with walking sticks who are close to dying”. He spoke about the “shame” and “fear” of keeping his condition secret. “I want to share my secret with you,” Thomas said in the video, which has had over a million views since he shared it on Twitter on September 14. “Because it’s mine to tell you.” “Not the evils that make my life hell, threatening to tell you before I do.

Rugby star Gareth Thomas has been praised by Prince Harry after speaking about how his HIV diagnosis inspired him to educate others. The former Wales captain told the Duke of Sussex everyone should know their status to "normalise testing" and that the virus was not a "death sentence".

Britain's Prince Harry has thrown his support behind Gareth Thomas , after the Welsh rugby star was forced to go public with his HIV -positive status. He added: "I am asking you to help me to show that everyone lives in fear of people's reactions and opinions But that doesn't mean we should have to

Former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas has told Prince Harry he thought he was going to die when he was given a diagnosis of HIV.

He spoke about his diagnosis in September, ahead of completing Ironman, because he wanted to reverse the stigma and change stereotypes.

"I was fearful of testing positive but I was fearful because I didn't know what testing positive means.

"When I learnt that the quicker I get on medication, the quicker I'm no longer a risk the quicker I could get my life back on track.

"That means I live an amazing life now, with a husband who's HIV negative and I know for a fact I'm no risk to him.

"What we're trying to do now is destigmatise. Aids is a frightening word.

Gareth Thomas gets emotional on This Morning talking about HIV diagnosis

Gareth Thomas gets emotional on This Morning talking about HIV diagnosis HIV "is not connected to death, it's connected to life".

Prince Harry and former Wales rugby star Gareth Thomas spoke about HIV . The pair previously highlighted the importance of being tested for the virus . Harry shared a joke with former Wales rugby captain, Gareth Thomas (right) and Chris Robshaw of Harlequins (left) as he was presented with a

Prince Harry and rugby star Gareth Thomas tackle the stigma of HIV and HIV testing in a new film marking National HIV Testing Week in the U.K. Thomas , 45, earlier this year revealed that he received a positive HIV diagnosis but is now living a healthy life with an undetectable status thanks to

"Stigma is a real thing. Where we are now wtih HIV means it's not a death sentence.

"I'm living proof. I would never have done an Ironman if I didn't life with HIV. Living wtih HIV and realising how I could live my life gave me a renewed lease of life."

He said his diagnosis was a "difficult thing to take".

He said that he thought the diagnosis meant he would die.

"Because I didn't have the education, when I was told I had HIV, I thought I was going to die. Sometimes, you need to know what it's like to die to know what it's really like to live. I'll never forget that moment because it gives me the inspraiotn to live my life to the max every single day.

"But also the inspiration to make sure that other people who are told that news realise that actually they can have a life".

Gareth Thomas says a tabloid reporter outed him as HIV to his parents before he could

Gareth Thomas says a tabloid reporter outed him as HIV to his parents before he could The fraught sportsman lambasted the reporter's 'intrusive actions'

Watch more. Prince Harry and William praise Gareth Thomas on HIV diagnosis reveal. The 45-year-old’s comments come the day after England cricketer Ben Stokes branded a front page story in The Sun newspaper about his family “utterly disgusting” and “the lowest form of journalism”.

Prince Harry is to join forces with Gareth Thomas to help end the stigma of HIV , continuing the work his mother first did three decades ago. Thomas , 45, revealed over the weekend that he was diagnosed as HIV positive, but through treatment, the virus is undetectable and will not pass it on to his husband.

"We do so much around our health – going to the dentist, going to the doctor. But when it comes to sexual health testing there’s the stigma and fear around it," he said.

a group of people posing for the camera: Prince Harry and Gareth Thomas speak about Alfie's HIV diagnosis © Terrence Higgins Trust Prince Harry and Gareth Thomas speak about Alfie's HIV diagnosis

He spoke to The Duke of Sussex in a film released by Terrence Higgins Trust to mark National HIV Testing Week.

Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV charity, said that since Thomas revealed his HIV status publicly in September the charity saw a surge in orders for its HIV testing kits, mirroring a five-fold increase when The Duke of Sussex tested live on Facebook in 2016.

In their first ever meeting, Thomas explains to The Duke that like many others his knowledge of HIV was stuck in the 1980s and he thought he had been given a death sentence.

a man and a woman sitting on a suitcase: Prince Harry and and Gareth Alfie Thomas tackle HIV stigma in new film to mark National HIV Testing Week © Terrence Higgins Trust Prince Harry and and Gareth Alfie Thomas tackle HIV stigma in new film to mark National HIV Testing Week

The pair share a joke when Prince Harry says that with medication he shows you can live a "healthy, happy life and look relatively good looking after a career in rugby".

Laughing, Alfie responds: "Relatively...after a bit of work".

At the end of the video, The Duke tells Alfie "I believe in what you're doing. It's amazing" before the pair share a hug.

To order a free HIV testing kits visit startwithme.org.uk.

Prince Harry and Gareth Thomas want you to get tested for HIV .
Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas speaks to the Duke of Sussex about his HIV diagnosis in a powerful new film released to mark the start of HIV Testing Week. In the film, Thomas says that the virus is not a “death sentence” and he wants more people to know that by taking one pill a day, he can’t pass the virus on to his husband, Stephen. Prince Harry tells Thomas that what he’s doing to tackle stigma around HIV is “amazing” and that everyone should get tested to “make it easier for those that are fearful, that are scared to come forward”. The pair were meeting for the first time in the stands of Harlequin Rugby Club.

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