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Rugby star tells Prince Harry of lasting HIV legacy

© Dominik Lipinski/PA WireFormer Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas who is taking part in a 140-mile Ironman triathlon, a day after revealing he is HIV positive.
Former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas who is taking part in a 140-mile Ironman triathlon, a day after revealing he is HIV positive.

Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas has told the Duke of Sussex his success on the pitch will fade in years to come, but his lasting legacy will be raising awareness about HIV.

Thomas and Harry, a long-term HIV campaigner, spoke about the impact the sportsman has had since revealing his HIV status in a film released by the Terrence Higgins Trust to mark today’s World Aids Day.

The ex-fullback, who captained both Wales and the British Lions, was the highest-profile sportsman in the UK to reveal he was gay when he came out in 2009, and in September he said he was forced to reveal he was HIV positive after a newspaper threatened to publish the personal information.

In the video, filmed a few weeks ago in the stands at the Twickenham Stoop – home of Premiership Rugby club Harlequins – Harry joked about the Welshman’s “big” trophy cabinet.

Thomas replied, laughing: “Yeah, it’s big. But I look at it and think, do you know what, they’ll gather dust and they’ll go away and be forgotten about, but I’d like to think where we’re going on this journey of education and breaking stigma around HIV is something that will have a legacy everlasting.”

Harry praised Thomas’s impact on raising HIV awareness since he revealed his status.