Rugby legend Gareth Thomas is praising Prince Harry for his “unbelievable” support after revealing he is HIV positive earlier this year.
The two joined forces on Friday where they met with players from the Kings Cross Steelers, a rugby club that claims to be the world’s first gay rugby club and home of the Harlequins, to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. But first Thomas told the media how Prince Harry had stepped up since he came forward in September after a tabloid threatened to reveal his status.
“It started as him just wanting to show his support to me. When you have something in common with someone, regardless of where you both come from, you have some kind of common ground and from that we’ve been in regular contact, yes about today, but also just about being mates to each other because we both want to drive things forward together,” the former Rugby star said.
He then added, “When I’m listening to myself now it feels bizarre, but when I’m on the phone or texting him it doesn’t feel bizarre because he really cares, he’s not doing this today because it’s a duty, he’s doing it because he cares about it. I lose the fact that I realise he’s a prince – it’s gone.”
The Duke of Sussex and Thomas are hoping to raise awareness of being tested for HIV/AIDS ahead of National HIV Testing Week which runs between Nov. 16-22.
Thomas was recently named an HIV Commissioner with the new HIV Commission, which aims to stop the transmission of the virus in England by 2030.
Harry has long been an advocate for HIV testing, following in the steps of his late mum Princess Diana’s work, which has included being tested on Facebook Live and again alongside Rihanna.
“Harry having public tests for HIV is incredibly powerful, with his reach, a global reach, is something that will reach the corners of the globe and communities that are marginalised who need support from all of us,” Thomas noted.
The two were joined by England star Chris Robshaw as they watched how easy it is to take a test at home with a mobile kit in around 10 minutes.
“It’s so easy to do I think a lot of people will do it,” Robshaw said.
Of course, it wasn’t all business. Harry was also gifted a mini Harlequins jersey with Archie’s name written on the back.