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Gareth Thomas hails ‘magnificent’ royal support as Prince Harry joins him in HIV campaign -

Gareth Thomas hails ‘magnificent’ royal support as Prince Harry joins him in HIV campaign

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The Duke of Sussex today teamed up with former Wales rugby star Gareth Thomas to highlight the importance of being tested for the HIV virus.

Harry and Thomas, who is HIV positive, met players from the Kings Cross Steelers — who claim to be the world’s first gay rugby club — and Premiership club Harlequins, to raise awareness about the virus.

Today Thomas said: “The support from the royals has been magnificent. And it’s not just for me, it’s to show that we accept people living with HIV.”

Harry and Thomas met the players ahead of National HIV Testing Week, which runs from November 16 to 22.

Thomas praised the Duke of Sussex for his efforts in raising awareness about HIV testing as they met at a rugby club to highlight the issue.

Thomas, who revealed in September that he is HIV positive, said Harry has “done so much to normalise HIV testing and fight the stigma across the globe”.

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The former player’s comments came as he was named as a member of the Terrence Higgins Trust’s new HIV Commission.

Thomas said of his appointment: “I spoke out about living with HIV, not for me but for all those people who are struggling and don’t have a platform.

“For them, I want to do everything I can to challenge stigma and outdated views about HIV.

“That’s why I’m thrilled to be joining the HIV Commission because I want to be a part of a positive change and play a role in driving us towards our goal where no-one else contracts HIV.”

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Thomas was the highest-profile sportsman in the UK to reveal he was gay when he came out in 2009 and earlier this year said he was forced to reveal his HIV diagnosis after a tabloid newspaper threatened to publish it.

The ex-fullback, who captained both Wales and the British Lions, is thought to be the first UK sportsman to go public about living with HIV.

In recent interviews he said he was driven to suicidal thoughts as a result of his diagnosis but Harry and his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, have praised Thomas for revealing he is HIV positive.

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