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.
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 moment back."
A journalist told @gareththomas14 ‘s parents about his HIV status before he had. This is what it means to him.
— BBC Radio 5 Live (@bbc5live) September 18, 2019
“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.
— Gareth Thomas (@gareththomas14) September 14, 2019
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.”
Please take 3 minutes out of your life to watch Professor Chloe Orkin (@profchloeorkin) assure Gareth Thomas that there is zero risk of #HIV transmission, sexually or casually, when #undetectable.
Then share it. #UequalsU pic.twitter.com/5U55om2jr5
— Matthew Hodson (@Matthew_Hodson) September 17, 2019
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.
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