Former Wales captain Gareth Thomas has been shown a lot of support on social media after revealing he is HIV positive on Saturday.
The 45-year-old was apparently forced to reveal his diagnosis after an unnamed tabloid newspaper discovered his HIV status and sent reporters to his parents’ home.
Thomas, who made 103 appearances for Wales and the British & Irish Lions, has also received praise for vowing to increase the understanding of HIV and “break the stigma” associated with it in an emotional video he posted on Twitter.
— Gareth Thomas (@gareththomas14) September 14, 2019
After breaking the news of his HIV status the former centre also revealed his marriage of almost three years to husband Stephen.
“I needed to take control of my life. When you have a secret that other people know about it makes you really vulnerable towards them. And I just I felt like I had no control over my own life,” he told the Metro.
“When I first found out that I was going to have to live with HIV, the first thing I thought was straight away: I was going to die.”
Former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas reveals he has HIV
— BBC Wales News (@BBCWalesNews) September 15, 2019
So much admiration and respect for Gareth Thomas. The fact a newspaper forced him into telling people is appalling. I’d like to know the names of the journalists and the paper they work for because they should hang their heads in shame. pic.twitter.com/52tx7UOGCa
— Chris Thompson (@lechris_t) September 15, 2019
All of our love and respect to Gareth Thomas who has shared that he’s HIV-positive. This is another important step in fighting HIV stigma https://t.co/So6PG2aePE
— LGBT Foundation (@LGBTfdn) September 15, 2019
Courageous as ever – legend on the pitch and legend off it. You have our support Gareth. W https://t.co/WXGof2N3j8
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 15, 2019
For me, coming out as #HIV felt like a great leap into the unknown.
Now I’m glad to be out of the viral closet.
I refuse to think of my HIV status as something to be ashamed of. It’s just a virus, not a moral judgement.
Strength to Gareth Thomas.https://t.co/ZcvNzjB4jA pic.twitter.com/XVoVJKLcBi
— Matthew Hodson (@Matthew_Hodson) September 15, 2019
— Foxy Bob 💙💛🏴💙 (@robfax) September 15, 2019
— 🏴⚪️Welsh Spurs⚪️🏴 (@spurs_welsh) September 14, 2019
Gareth Thomas has again shown enormous strength in declaring himself HIV positive.
A role model challenging stigma and prejudice.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) September 14, 2019