Former Welsh rugby worldwide Gareth Thomas has denied allegations made within the High Court that he contaminated a former associate with HIV, Mail Plus has revealed.
The ex-Wales and Lions rugby captain was accused of ‘concealing’ his HIV-positive situation and failing ‘to take cheap care’ to make sure he didn’t transmit the virus to 59-year-old Ian Baum.
HIV carriers may be charged with grievous bodily hurt in the event that they fail to declare their standing to potential sexual companions and go on the an infection.
It comes three years after the rugby legend Gareth Thomas revealed he has been residing with HIV ‘for years’ – at occasions leaving him considering suicide.
The Wales and British Lions star, who got here out as homosexual in 2009, stated he was revealing his prognosis as a result of he wished to ‘make a distinction’ by serving to finish the stigma surrounding the virus.
He stated he had saved his HIV standing secret as a result of he feared folks would ‘deal with me like a leper’.
Thomas, 48, is the primary main British sports activities star to confess to being HIV-positive.
He additionally stated he was threatened with blackmail – forcing him to inform his household about his HIV standing earlier than they heard it from another person.
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Rugby legend Gareth Thomas revealed he has been residing with HIV ‘for years’. He is pictured in a video he posted on Twitter about his situation
Thomas performed 100 occasions for Wales throughout his illustrious profession earlier than he retired from the sport in 2011
Gareth married his childhood sweetheart Jemma in 2002 however got here out as homosexual in 2009
Thomas (pictured centre) participating within the Wales Ironman competitors in Tenby. He is pictured rising from the water after finishing the gruelling 2.3-mile swim
He stated: ‘I’ve been residing with this secret for years. I’ve felt disgrace and retaining such a giant secret has taken its toll.
WHAT IS HIV?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus which assaults the immune system—the physique’s defence in opposition to illnesses.
HIV stays within the physique for all times, however therapy can maintain the virus beneath management and the immune system wholesome. Without remedy folks with HIV can develop AIDS.
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is probably the most superior stage of an HIV an infection, when the immune system can not battle infections.
Someone with AIDS has each HIV and not less than certainly one of a selected checklist of ‘AIDS-defining’ illnesses, which embody tuberculosis, pneumonia and a few forms of most cancers.
AIDS is life threatening, but when HIV is caught early and is handled, it won’t result in AIDS. If HIV is caught late, it might result in extra problems and will in the end result in AIDS.
It is essential to get examined early you probably have been prone to HIV, as it’ll imply that you may entry therapy that may forestall you ever getting AIDS.
Source: The National Aids Trust
‘I had a concern folks would decide me and deal with me like a leper due to a lack of expertise.
‘I used to be in a darkish place, feeling suicidal. I considered driving off a cliff. Many folks dwell in concern and disgrace of getting HIV, however I refuse to be certainly one of them now.
‘We want to interrupt the stigma as soon as and for all. I’m talking out as a result of I need to assist others and make a distinction.’
HIV (human immuno-deficency virus) assaults the physique’s immune system. Those recognized with the virus as soon as had a bleak prospect.
However, these days it may be totally managed by medicine which cease it creating into AIDS.
The rugby star in contrast his situation to ‘residing with diabetes or hypertension’ and seems to be as match as ever.
He stated he would ‘always remember’ the second he discovered his prognosis, which got here after a ‘routine sexual well being take a look at’ in Cardiff.
When instructed in a ‘matter of truth means’ that he was HIV-positive, Thomas stated he broke down. ‘I instantly thought I used to be going to die,’ he stated.
‘I felt like an categorical practice was hitting me at 300mph. I wasn’t anticipating it in any respect. Then I used to be considering, ‘How lengthy have I bought left?’
Thomas didn’t say when the prognosis passed off or whether or not he grew to become contaminated whereas nonetheless enjoying skilled rugby, however revealed that he needed to inform plenty of former sexual companions as a matter of ‘responsibility’ so they might get themselves examined too.
He break up together with his spouse Jemma in 2009 upon revealing his true sexuality, seven years after they married.
Last night time Thomas additionally revealed that he’s now remarried, to a person known as Stephen, with whom he has been for four-and-a-half years. Stephen doesn’t have HIV.
They dwell collectively in Bridgend, with Stephen’s daughter Anna.
The couple, who married in entrance of shut mates, together with Thomas’s shut pal ‘H’ from the bands Steps, met whereas working with bother faculty youngsters.
Thomas is pictured in a moist swimsuit by the ocean earlier this month forward of an Ironman competitors he’s due to participate in in Tenby, south west Wales, as we speak
David Cameron meets with Gareth Thomas at Downing Street in 2011 following his retirement
The ex-rugby participant says he thought of committing suicide after studying of his prognosis
Thomas stated: ‘Stephen is from the Valley and is not used to media consideration or the thought of giving interviews, however he loves me and helps me 100 per cent in what I’m doing.’
He additionally instructed that studying of his prognosis has not been the final trauma he has needed to bear.
He revealed that afterwards he was ‘threatened by individuals who stated they might give away my secret’, who he feared would ‘use it as a weapon’ in opposition to him and his household.
He had wished to maintain the data from his dad and mom, Yvonne, 70, and Barry 69, fearing it will ‘damage’ them. After the blackmail menace he determined he had no possibility however to inform them. In the occasion he found he ‘underestimated’ them.
‘My dad and mom and family members are effective with it,’ he stated.
Thomas, who’s affectionately recognized by his nickname ‘Alfie’, stated there was a lot ‘inaccurate info’ about HIV that he wished to counter, stressing, as an example, that there was ‘no risk’ of him passing it on to others due to the medicine he was taking.
He stated: ‘I at all times say now, ‘I’m residing with HIV. I do know I’ve HIV, however HIV would not have me. It would not management me.’
Commenting on Thomas going public, a detailed pal who additionally performed for Wales, stated: ‘Everyone is shocked and nervous for Gareth – however the essential factor is he is match and nicely.
‘He is a outstanding particular person who’s mentally geared up to cope with this sickness.
‘Everyone supported him when he got here out as homosexual and that help shall be even stronger now.’
The former rugby participant posted additionally posted this image of himself giving a giant ‘thumbs up’ on his forty fifth birthday in July, with the caption: ‘I attempt to do the appropriate factor however extra importantly I do know I’ll generally fail, cry, and be unhappy, and unusually it is figuring out that, that makes me comfortable.’
He added: ‘Gareth is inspirational, he is modified the lives of so many individuals.
‘I totally anticipate him to change into a number one gentle for HIV and Aids charities, that is the kind of bloke he’s.’
Thomas got here out on the finish of his rugby profession and stated on the time: ‘I do not need to be often known as a homosexual rugby participant, I’m a rugby participant at the start I’m a person.’
Following his prognosis revelation, there was an enormous outpouring of help.
HIV and sexual well being charity Terrance Higgins Trust stated in an announcement: ‘Gareth Thomas has spoken publicly about residing with HIV for the very first time forward of taking up the Ironman Wales problem.
‘He needs everybody to know that HIV should not cease you doing something you need to. We’re very proud to name him a pal.’
Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn additionally tweeted his help, saying the rugby legend has ‘proven huge energy’ in sharing his HIV standing.
He described him as a ‘function mannequin difficult stigma and prejudice’, ‘providing hope and resolve to others’.
The Welsh rugby workforce, who’re in Japan for the Rugby World Cup, has additionally proven their help.
Head coach Warren Gatland stated final night time: ‘There hasn’t been numerous dialog about it as a result of it is very contemporary information to us at this stage.
‘It’s at all times unhappy when an ex-professional sportsman picks up an sickness of any variety. As the gamers change into conscious of the information, I’m positive they will discuss it.’
Thomas took half in Dancing On Ice in 2013. He is pictured proper with skating associate Robin Johnstone
After retiring from the sport Thomas launched a profitable media profession whereas volunteering for charities and is an lively supporter of Childline.
‘Come on Alfie!’: Gareth Thomas cheered by crowds at Wales Ironman day after HIV revelation
Gareth Thomas was given large cheers as he emerged out of the water after finishing the primary leg of the gruelling Ironman race in Tenby, West Wales.
There have been cries of ‘Come on Alfie’ and ‘Go Gareth’ as he mounted his black racing bike for a 112-mile race by Pembrokeshire’s nation roads.
Thomas waved on the crowds however appeared ruggedly decided and there was no smiles from the ex-rugby star the day after he revealed he’s battling HIV.
Spectator Adam Davies, 45, of Swansea, stated: ‘He was in sports activities mode – he appeared fairly decided and engrossed within the race. I solely discovered about his sickness once I arrived right here at six this morning. What a brilliant hero this bloke is. It appears to me like he is sending a message out to the world about residing with HIV.’
The former wales and British Lions fullback entered the ocean at Tenby’s north Beach at 7am together with 2,300 different opponents.
He accomplished the two.3-mile swim in an estimated 1 hour 29 minutes and appeared contemporary and powerful on the transition to the cycle aspect of the race which ends with a full marathon.
Thomas, carrying quantity 50, was given one other large cheer when his identify was introduced over the PA system on the occasion which is able to take 17 hours for some opponents to finish.
He stated he hoped his public acknowledgement of his sexuality would assist different younger homosexual sportsmen search help from charities akin to Childline.
Thomas appeared as a contestant on TV’s Celebrity Big Brother the place he reached the ultimate three.
He additionally appeared on Dancing on Ice as a pundit and has been given his personal reveals on BBC Wales together with Run for Your Life when he educated a bunch of obese and unfit girls from the Welsh Valleys to get match for the Cardiff Half Marathon.
Last November Thomas was the sufferer of an homophobic assault whereas out with mates in Cardiff City Centre.
He posted a video on his Twitter Page displaying his bruised and reduce face from the Saturday night time ‘hate crime’ within the Welsh capital.
A 16-year-old boy was later handled by restorative justice and met with Thomas to apologise for his actions.
In 2017 he made a TV documentary known as Gareth Thomas v Homophobia difficult homosexual taunts utilized by soccer followers at Premiership matches.
He will now characteristic in a brand new documentary entitled: Gareth Thomas: HIV and ME, which is able to air on BBC One on Wednesday September 18 at 9pm.
Thomas has devoted the previous few months getting match for Ironman Wales, which is going down within the West Wales seaside resort of Tenby as we speak.
He is certainly one of greater than 2,000 novice opponents who lined up at 7am for the swimming leg of the gruelling race.
There have been cries of ‘Come on Alfie’ and ‘Go Gareth’ as he mounted his black racing bike for a 112-mile race by Pembrokeshire’s nation roads after finishing the two.3-mile swimming part in slightly below an hour and a half.
Thomas waved on the crowds however appeared ruggedly decided and there was no smiles from the ex-rugby star the day after he revealed he’s battling HIV.
WHO IS GARETH THOMAS?
Gareth Thomas is a former Welsh rugby participant. He has represented Wales in each Rugby Union and Rugby League and was probably the most capped participant within the nation till he was overtaken in 2011.
He got here out as homosexual in 2009 following a break up from his spouse and childhood sweetheart Jemma in 2007, turning into the primary openly-gay rugby participant in Britain.
Thomas, who’s affectionately often known as ‘Alfie’ on account of his ‘resemblance to the alien character within the TV sitcom ‘Alf’, battled together with his sexuality for years, telling of how he was pushed to the brink of suicide on a number of events.
He instructed the Daily Mail in December 2009: ‘I used to be like a ticking bomb. I assumed I might suppress it, maintain it locked away in some darkish nook of myself, however I could not.
‘It was who I used to be, and I simply could not ignore it any extra. I’d been by each emotion beneath the solar attempting to cope with this.
‘You get up one morning considering: ‘I can deal with it. Everything is ok,’ and the subsequent morning you don’t need anybody to see your face, since you assume that if folks have a look at you, they may know.’
Wales rugby legend Gareth Thomas is pictured in October 2010
He went on: ‘Sometimes I felt so alone and depressed. I’ve stood on so many cliff edges.
‘I used to go to the cliffs overlooking the seashore close to our cottage in St Brides Major and simply take into consideration leaping off and ending all of it.’
The yr after he got here out he was voted probably the most influential homosexual particular person within the UK and has since labored with a number of LGBT charities amongst others.
Thomas is the youngest of three sons. His older brothers are Richard and Steven. His father Barry, 69, is a retired postal employee, and his mom Yvonne, 70, a former hospital secretary.
He started his sporting profession together with his native Bridgend in 1994, staying there for 3 years. He made his debut for Wales the next yr, representing his nation till 2007.
With 100 appearances he was probably the most capped Welsh Rugby Union participant ever till 2011 when the accolade was taken by Stephen Jones.
He performed for Wales on the 2007 Rugby World Cup and performed in 4 tournaments altogether
The fullback was the second highest strive scorer for Wales, behind Shane Williams and captained for his nation, and varied membership squads.
At membership degree Thomas performed for Bridgend, Cardiff RFC, Celtic Warriors, Cardiff Blues and French aspect Toulouse.
During his time in France he was discovered responsible of assault in 2005. Two years later he was banned from the sport for 4 week on misconduct costs.
While he was nonetheless enjoying in France he suffered a significant well being scare after a neck damage. He was later rushed to hospital and was suspected to have had a stroke, with fears the influence on his well being could have led to his retirement.
After marrying childhood sweetheart Jemma in 2002, the couple struggled with relationship issues.
Thomas stated he ‘knew he was homosexual’ on the age of round 16 or 17, however failed to just accept it till years later.
He admitted dishonest on her a number of occasions, insisting he at all times practised secure intercourse when sleeping with males.
Thomas shall be a part of ITV’s broadcast workforce for the upcoming World Cup in Japan this month
The couple have been married for 5 years, throughout which era Jemma suffered three miscarriages. They break up in 2007 with the divorce finalised in 2009.
Thomas carried on enjoying rugby till 2011 when he suffered a damaged arm. After lacking two months, he introduced he can be retiring from the game in October that yr.
Since he got here out in 2009, Thomas has labored with quite a few charities, together with ChildLine, the Terrance Higgins Trust and Stonewall.
He was an ITV rugby pundit through the 2011 and 2015 World Cups.
In January 2012 he went into the Celebrity Big Brother House, ending within the remaining three.
A yr later he appeared on Dancing On Ice, when he was partnered with skilled skater Robin Johnstone.
Thomas is pictured participating in Dancing On Ice in January 2013 alongside his skating associate Robin Johnstone
This was across the time a movie was on account of be made about Thomas’s life. Actor Tom Hardy was on account of play Thomas, however the movie later fell by.
His autobiography Proud was launched in 2015, which gave distressing particulars about his battle together with his sexuality.
In November 2018 he was assaulted in Cardiff metropolis centre in a homophobic assault. He took to social media to share his ordeal and requested South Wales police cope with the 16-year-old suspect by the use of restorative justice.
In September 2019 he grew to become the primary main British sports activities star to come back out as HIV-positive.
He stated he has been residing with the virus ‘for years’ and likewise revealed he’s now re-married to a person named Stephen, 56.
His husband doesn’t have HIV and the couple dwell in Bridgend, South Wales, with Stephen’s 23-year-old daughter Anna.