The 45-year-old, who retired from rugby in 2011, has 100 international caps for Wales. He said hiding his HIV status for years led him to consider suicide.
“When I discovered that I should live with the HIV virus, my first thought was to tell me I was going to die,” said Thomas, 45, in a documentary airing Wednesday. I do not blame people for not being aware of the situation. The problem is that in the scenarios accepted in the 1980s, people did not talk about it because they did not have any other information »
PIC.TWITTER.COM/4LOH7YKDLZ – GARETH THOMAS (@ GARETHTHOMAS14) SEPTEMBER 14, 2019
Thomas, who became gay in 2009, also confirmed that her husband, Stephen, whom he had met after the diagnosis, was not carrying the virus.
“I was afraid people would judge me, treat me as if I had leprosy because of lack of knowledge (around this disease, ed),” he says, adding that after learning the terrible news, he passed a “very dark period”. “I had suicidal thoughts, like jumping off a cliff. For me, wanting to die was natural and I thought it would be simpler like that, but you have to confront things, “he says.
“For me, wanting to die was a natural thought and seemed like the easiest solution, but you have to face things. And having a strong support system and personal strength and the experience of overcoming these emotions allowed me to go through it. “
Speaking of his reaction to the announcement of his serological status, the former captain of the Irish and British Lions said: “When she uttered these words, I broke up. I was in such a state. I immediately thought that I was going to die. I felt like an express train was hitting me at 300 km / h. I was not expecting it at all. Then I wondered how much time I have left. I was helpless. “
Explaining his decision to tell his story in front of the camera, he said it’s “to help others and make a difference”. “Many people who have HIV live in fear and shame and I refuse to be one of them now. We must break this taboo for good.
“I do it because, I want to remember how it feels to live. I want to remember what it feels like to feel free. And by doing that, I want to give so many other people who are exactly in the same position as me – and probably ten times worse – the opportunity to feel free again. And to do that, I have to educate myself. I must be strong. In the end, I must be a completely different person than I am now. “
“I think what I want to learn is that I have HIV – and that’s good. That’s what I want to learn. Over all. “
According to Mail Online, the athlete now takes one tablet containing four drugs a day, and the doctors said his condition was so controlled that he is considered “undetectable” and can no longer be transmitted.