Tabloid 'journalist' told Gareth Thomas' parents about his HIV status before he had the opportunity

In describing the way his parents were told he had HIV, Gareth Thomas said: "All I can tell you is I have the best parents on the planet."

Gareth Thomas' parents about his HIV status before he had the opportunity
Image: Rowan Griffiths

Speaking to BBC Radio 5, Gareth Thomas recalled the moment a tabloid journalist told his parents he was HIV Positive, saying he “can’t imagine how they felt.”

The former British and Irish Lions captain came out as gay in 2009 and is believed to be the first UK sportsman to go public about being HIV Positive.

Related Stories

He said he decided to go public about living with HIV after being “put through hell” by blackmailers who threatened to expose his secret.

Gareth Thomas has now opened up about why he’s angry his parents were told by someone who wasn’t him.

“I can never have that time back, I can never have that moment back to sit down with them and be able to explain to them why their son is going to be okay, and he’s going to be able to live through this and live a healthy, normal life,” the 45-year-old explained on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I can never take that moment back; that person came and took that moment away from me. My parents will say that they’re fine because that’s my parents, but I can’t really tell you how they felt, I can’t imagine how they felt.

“Can you imagine someone coming to your door and saying something so personal and so intrusive to you about the thing and the person who you would love and protect through anything?” the Rugby star asked.

He added: “All I can tell you is I have the best parents on the planet. To this day they stand by me, and they believe in me, and they believe in what I’m doing now.”

Thomas spoke about breaking the stigma surrounding HIV in a video he posted online on Saturday, September 14.

In a video posted on his Twitter page, he said: “I am living with HIV.

“Now you have that information that makes me extremely vulnerable, but it does not make me weak. Even though I have been forced to tell you this, I choose to fight, to educate and break the stigma around this subject.

“And that begins today when I take on the toughest Ironman in the world in Tenby, and I push myself physically to the limit.”

Less than 24 hours after he released the video, Thomas completed the 140-mile Ironman Triathlon on Sunday, September 15.

As he reached the finish line, the 45 year-old Ironman ran into the arms of his husband, Stephen.

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

Support GCN

For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.

GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.