Gareth Thomas reveals that he thought he was given a 'death sentence' when diagnosed with HIV

Rugby Star Gareth Thomas appeared in a film by the Terrence Higgins Trust alongside Prince Harry to raise awareness of HIV testing.

Gareth Thomas
Image: Terrence Higgins Trust

Gareth Thomas has revealed that he thought he had been given a “death sentence” when he was diagnosed with HIV.

Thomas appeared in the film alongside Prince Harry to mark HIV Testing Week and raise awareness that HIV is no longer a death sentence.

Speaking about the powerful film, 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!”

Panti and Gareth Thomas announced for Dublin World AIDS Day event

After last years sell-out fundraising event with Professor Mulcahy, GCN and HIV Ireland are proud to present our second annual fundraising event, an evening of conversation between two legends of the LGBT+ community, Panti Bliss and Gareth Thomas.

This year’s World AIDS Day theme is ‘Communities make the difference’, Panti will host the trailblazing Gareth Thomas in an hour-long conversation exploring the power of visibility and representation to breakdown stigma around living with HIV and their shared leadership and advocacy for the LGBT+ community in their careers and lives so far keeping people at the centre and leaving no one behind.

The commemoration of World AIDS Day, which takes place annually on December 1 2019, is an important opportunity to recognise the essential role that communities have played and continue to play in the HIV response at the international, national and local levels.

You can buy tickets on Eventbrite now.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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