Former Wales captain Gareth Thomas has told Prince Harry that he hopes to create an ‘everlasting legacy’ of breaking the stigma around HIV.
Thomas came out as gay in 2009 and retired from rugby two years later.
In September, the 45-year-old revealed he is HIV positive. His husband Stephen – who he met after being diagnosed and married three years ago – does not have HIV.
In a new video, released to mark World Aids Day, Thomas tells Prince Harry, a long-term HIV campaigner: ‘I always felt like my life was to play rugby and to represent Wales, which I did with all the passion I have. But I actually feel that my rugby gave me the platform to do what I do now.
‘I believe what I do now is really what I care about because there are not many people from a simple life like I come from who can have the power to change other people’s lives.’
Thomas, who earned 100 Test caps for Wales and three for the British & Irish Lions added: ‘I sit down with my parents sometimes and we look at my trophy cabinet, which I’m really proud of. But I look at it and I think they’ll gather dust and they’ll go away and they’ll 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.’
Prince Harry said what Thomas is doing is ‘genuinely transformational’ and that he’s ‘turned a negative into a positive’ to give himself ‘a new purpose in life’.