Words: Steve Brown
Gareth Thomas tells Prince Harry he thought he had been given a ‘death sentence’ when he was diagnosed with HIV.
In a powerful video to mark the start of HIV Testing Week, the Welsh rugby star – who revealed his HIV status back in September – joined the Duke of Sussex to raise awareness that HIV is no longer a death sentence.
In the video – which was released by the UK’s leading HIV charity, The Terrence Higgins Trust - Thomas said: “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.
“Because I wasn’t educated about HIV, I thought I had been given a death sentence when I was diagnosed and I don’t want anyone else to go through that.
“I want to prove there’s life after a positive diagnosis and show everyone the realities of HIV.
“I take one pill a day which keeps me healthy, means I have absolutely no fear of passing on HIV to my husband and means I’m fit enough to do an Ironman!”
Prince Harry goes on to praise the former rugby star for what he is doing to tackle stigma around HIV and said everyone should get tested to ‘make it easier for those that are fearful, that are scared to come forward’.
Watch the full video below:
It's National HIV Testing Week! What better way to kick things off than by bringing together The Duke of Sussex and @gareththomas14?— Terrence Higgins Trust (@THTorguk) November 16, 2019
'I want to do whatever I can to remove the fear people have about testing for HIV,’ says Gareth.
Don't miss this powerful film 👇#HIVTestWeek pic.twitter.com/YOaTeqPsvK