Former Welsh rugby worldwide Gareth Thomas has denied allegations made within the Excessive Courtroom 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 affordable care’ to make sure he didn’t transmit the virus to 59-year-old Ian Baum.
HIV carriers will be charged with grievous bodily hurt in the event that they fail to declare their standing to potential sexual companions and move on the an infection.
It comes three years after the rugby legend Gareth Thomas revealed he has been dwelling with HIV ‘for years’ – at occasions leaving him considering suicide.
The Wales and British Lions star, who got here out as homosexual in 2009, mentioned he was revealing his analysis as a result of he wished to ‘make a distinction’ by serving to finish the stigma surrounding the virus.
He mentioned he had stored his HIV standing secret as a result of he feared individuals 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 informed how he was threatened with blackmail, forcing him to inform his household of his HIV standing earlier than they heard it from another person.
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Rugby legend Gareth Thomas final evening revealed he has been dwelling with HIV ‘for years’. He’s pictured in a video he posted to Twitter final evening 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) is immediately collaborating within the Wales Ironman competitors in Tenby. He’s pictured rising from the water this morning after finishing the gruelling 2.3-mile swim
He mentioned: ‘I’ve been dwelling with this secret for years. I’ve felt disgrace and holding such an enormous secret has taken its toll.
WHAT IS HIV?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus which attacksthe immune system—the physique’s defence towards illnesses.
HIV stays within the physique for all times, however therapy can preserve the virus below management and the immune system wholesome. With out remedy individuals 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 combat infections.
Somebody with AIDS has each HIV and a minimum of one in all a selected listing of ‘AIDS-defining’ illnesses, which embody tuberculosis, pneumonia and a few varieties 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 will possibly result in extra issues and will finally result in AIDS. That’s the reason it’s so vital to get examined early when you’ve got been vulnerable to HIV, as it’s going to imply that you may entry therapy that may forestall you ever getting AIDS.
Supply: The Nationwide Aids Belief
‘I had a concern individuals 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 individuals dwell in concern and disgrace of getting HIV, however I refuse to be one in all them now.
‘We have to break the stigma as soon as and for all. I’m talking out as a result of I wish to assist others and make a distinction.’
HIV (human immuno-deficency virus) assaults the physique’s immune system. These identified with the virus as soon as had a bleak prospect.
Nonetheless, these days it may be totally managed by medication which cease it growing into AIDS.
The rugby star in contrast his situation to ‘dwelling with diabetes or hypertension’ and seems to be as match as ever.
Thomas, who retired from rugby in 2011, went public along with his HIV standing on the eve of the opening of the Rugby World Cup, which begins on Friday. He’ll seem on ITV as a pundit.
He mentioned he would ‘always remember’ the second he came upon his analysis, which got here after a ‘routine sexual well being check’ in Cardiff.
When informed in a ‘matter of truth manner’ that he was HIV-positive, Thomas mentioned he broke down. ‘I instantly thought I used to be going to die,’ he mentioned.
‘I felt like an specific prepare was hitting me at 300mph. I wasn’t anticipating it in any respect. Then I used to be considering, ‘How lengthy have I received left?’
Gareth (left) posted this image of himself on his forty fifth birthday in July with the caption: ‘At present I’m 45 and the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I encompass myself with individuals I like and would die for’
Thomas is pictured immediately on his bike as a part of the Wales Ironman problem in Tenby
Thomas didn’t say when the analysis befell or whether or not he grew to become contaminated whereas nonetheless enjoying skilled rugby, however revealed that he needed to inform various former sexual companions as a matter of ‘obligation’ so they might get themselves examined too.
He cut up along with his spouse Jemma in 2009 upon revealing his true sexuality, seven years after they married.
Final evening 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 good friend ‘H’ from the bands Steps, met whereas working with hassle college youngsters.
Thomas is pictured in a moist go well with by the ocean earlier this month forward of an Ironman competitors he’s due to participate in in Tenby, south west Wales, immediately
David Cameron meets with Gareth Thomas at Downing Avenue in 2011 following his retirement
The ex-rugby participant says he thought-about committing suicide after studying of his analysis
Thomas mentioned: ‘Stephen is from the Valley and isn’t 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 informed that studying of his analysis has not been the final trauma he has needed to bear.
He revealed that afterwards he was ‘threatened by individuals who mentioned they’d give away my secret’, who he feared would ‘use it as a weapon’ towards him and his household.
He had wished to maintain the data from his mother and father, Yvonne, 70, and Barry 69, fearing it will ‘damage’ them. After the blackmail menace he determined he had no choice however to inform them. Within the occasion he found he ‘underestimated’ them.
‘My mother and father and family members are advantageous with it,’ he mentioned.
Thomas, who’s affectionately identified by his nickname ‘Alfie’, mentioned there was a lot ‘inaccurate data’ about HIV that he wished to counter, stressing, as an illustration, that there was ‘no risk’ of him passing it on to others due to the medication he was taking.
He mentioned: ‘I all the time say now, ‘I’m dwelling with HIV. I do know I’ve HIV, however HIV doesn’t have me. It doesn’t management me.’
Commenting on Thomas going public, an in depth good friend who additionally performed for Wales, mentioned: ‘Everyone seems to be shocked and apprehensive for Gareth – however the vital factor is he’s match and effectively.
‘He’s a outstanding particular person who’s mentally outfitted to take care of this sickness.
‘Everybody supported him when he got here out as homosexual and that assist will likely be even stronger now.’
The previous rugby participant posted additionally posted this image of himself giving an enormous ‘thumbs up’ on his forty fifth birthday in July, with the caption: ‘I attempt to do the suitable factor however extra importantly I do know I’ll typically fail, cry, and be unhappy, and unusually it’s realizing that, that makes me pleased.’
He added: ‘Gareth is inspirational, he’s modified the lives of so many individuals.
‘I totally anticipate him to turn out to be a number one gentle for HIV and Aids charities, that’s the type of bloke he’s.’
Thomas got here out on the finish of his rugby profession and mentioned on the time: ‘I don’t wish to be often called a homosexual rugby participant, I’m a rugby participant initially I’m a person.’
Following his analysis revelation, there was an enormous outpouring of assist.
HIV and sexual well being charity Terrance Higgins Belief mentioned in a press release: ‘Gareth Thomas has spoken publicly about dwelling with HIV for the very first time forward of taking over the Ironman Wales problem.
‘He needs everybody to know that HIV shouldn’t cease you doing something you wish to. We’re very proud to name him a good friend.’
Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn additionally tweeted his assist, saying the rugby legend has ‘proven huge energy’ in sharing his HIV standing.
He described him as a ‘position 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 assist.
Head coach Warren Gatland mentioned final evening: ‘There hasn’t been a variety of dialog about it as a result of it’s very recent information to us at this stage.
‘It’s all the time unhappy when an ex-professional sportsman picks up an sickness of any sort. Because the gamers turn out to be conscious of the information, I’m positive they’ll discuss it.’
Thomas took half in Dancing On Ice in 2013. He’s 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 energetic 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 way of 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, mentioned: ‘He was in sports activities mode – he appeared fairly decided and engrossed within the race. I solely came upon about his sickness once I arrived right here at six this morning. What an excellent hero this bloke is. It appears to be like to me like he’s sending a message out to the world about dwelling with HIV.’
The previous wales and British Lions fullback entered the ocean at Tenby’s north Seashore at 7am together with 2,300 different opponents.
He accomplished the two.3-mile swim in an estimated 1 hour 29 minutes and appeared recent and powerful on the transition to the cycle aspect of the race which ends with a full marathon.
Thomas, sporting 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 mentioned he hoped his public acknowledgement of his sexuality would assist different younger homosexual sportsmen search assist from charities resembling Childline.
Thomas appeared as a contestant on TV’s Celeb Huge Brother the place he reached the ultimate three.
He additionally appeared on Dancing on Ice as a pundit and has been given his personal exhibits on BBC Wales together with Run for Your Life when he skilled a gaggle of chubby and unfit girls from the Welsh Valleys to get match for the Cardiff Half Marathon.
Final November Thomas was the sufferer of an homophobic assault whereas out with mates in Cardiff Metropolis Centre.
He posted a video on his Twitter Web page displaying his bruised and lower face from the Saturday evening ‘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’ll now function 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 happening within the West Wales seaside resort of Tenby immediately.
He’s one in all greater than 2,000 beginner 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 way of 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 cut up from his spouse and childhood sweetheart Jemma in 2007, changing into the primary openly-gay rugby participant in Britain.
Thomas, who’s affectionately often called ‘Alfie’ resulting from his ‘resemblance to the alien character within the TV sitcom ‘Alf’, battled along with his sexuality for years, telling of how he was pushed to the brink of suicide on a number of events.
He informed the Each day Mail in December 2009: ‘I used to be like a ticking bomb. I assumed I might suppress it, preserve it locked away in some darkish nook of myself, however I couldn’t.
‘It was who I used to be, and I simply couldn’t ignore it any extra. I’d been by way of each emotion below the solar attempting to take care of this.
‘You get up one morning considering: ‘I can deal with it. Every thing is okay,’ and the subsequent morning you don’t need anybody to see your face, since you assume that if individuals take a look at you, they’ll know.’
Wales rugby legend Gareth Thomas is pictured in October 2010
He went on: ‘Typically I felt so alone and depressed. I’ve stood on so many cliff edges.
‘I used to go to the cliffs overlooking the seaside close to our cottage in St Brides Main 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 individual 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 along 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.
Throughout 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 expenses.
Whereas he was nonetheless enjoying in France he suffered a serious well being scare after a neck damage. He was later rushed to hospital and was suspected to have had a stroke, with fears the impression on his well being might have led to his retirement.
After marrying childhood sweetheart Jemma in 2002, the couple struggled with relationship issues.
Thomas mentioned he ‘knew he was homosexual’ on the age of round 16 or 17, however failed to simply accept it till years later.
He admitted dishonest on her a number of occasions, insisting he all the time practised secure intercourse when sleeping with males.
Thomas will likely be a part of ITV’s broadcast workforce for the upcoming World Cup in Japan this month
The couple had been married for 5 years, throughout which era Jemma suffered three miscarriages. They cut 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 could 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 Belief and Stonewall.
He was an ITV rugby pundit throughout the 2011 and 2015 World Cups.
In January 2012 he went into the Celeb Huge Brother Home, 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 collaborating in Dancing On Ice in January 2013 alongside his skating associate Robin Johnstone
This was across the time a movie was resulting from be made about Thomas’s life. Actor Tom Hardy was resulting from play Thomas, however the movie later fell by way of.
His autobiography Proud was launched in 2015, which gave distressing particulars about his battle along 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 take care of the 16-year-old suspect by means of restorative justice.
In September 2019 he grew to become the primary main British sports activities star to return out as HIV-positive.
He mentioned he has been dwelling with the virus ‘for years’ and in addition 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.