Gareth Thomas runs into husband’s arms after smashing triathlon hours after revealing HIV diagnosis
Sportsman Gareth Thomas ran into the arms of his husband after smashing the Ironman Triathlon – less than 24 hours after revealing he is HIV-positive.
The former Welsh rugby captain spoke out to help break the stigma surrounding those living with HIV in a video posted online on Saturday, September 14.
But, just hours after his emotional video, Thomas was out to prove that he is fitter than he has ever been – by completing a gruelling 140-mile Ironman Triathlon in Tenby, Wales, on Sunday, September 15.
Gareth Thomas completes Ironman Triathlon after revealing he has HIV.
In emotional scenes, the 45-year-old sports star can be seen running into his husband’s embrace after finishing the race, which included a 26.2 mile marathon.
— ITV Wales News (@ITVWales) September 15, 2019
Thomas revealed that he married his husband Stephen three years ago as he opened up about his HIV diagnosis.
Ex-rugby star forced to reveal HIV status to public because of tabloid newspaper.
He was forced to publicly disclose his status after a tabloid newspaper found out he had the virus, which led to journalists visiting his parents’ home.
Even though I have been forced to tell you this, I choose to fight, to educate and break the stigma around this subject.
The ex-rugby player will share his story in a documentary on BBC Wales, Gareth Thomas: HIV and Me, which will be broadcast on Wednesday, September 18.
— Gareth Thomas (@gareththomas14) September 14, 2019
In his video posted on his Twitter page on Saturday, Thomas said: “I am living with HIV.
“Now you have that information that makes me extremely vulnerable, but it does not make me weak.
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“No, even though I have been forced to tell you this, I choose to fight, to educate and break the stigma around this subject.”
High-profile figures, fellow sportspeople, and celebrities took to social media to lend their support to Thomas after he made the announcement, including Prince Harry, the Duke of Cambridge, and Welsh rugby star Shane Williams.
“Gareth, you are an absolute legend! In sharing your story of being HIV+, you are saving lives and shattering stigma, by showing you can be strong and resilient while living with HIV,” said Prince Harry on Instagram.
“We should all be appalled by the way you were forced to speak your truth, it is yours and yours alone to share on your terms and I and millions stand with you.”