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Rugby legend Gareth Thomas pays tribute to nurses

07 Jun 2024 2 minute read
Gareth Thomas

Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas has publicly thanked nurses for the part they played in his campaign to raise awareness of HIV.

He told the annual Congress of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) that nurses had an important part to play, singling out staff at the Cardiff Royal Infirmary who he described as an extension of his family.


“I was a messed up jigsaw, but one particular nurse helped me find the corners and fill in the pieces to be able to live my life.”

Thomas, who won 100 caps playing for Wales, announced publicly that he was gay in 2009, then in 2014 said he was HIV positive.

He has since campaigned under the banner Tackle HIV to break the stigma around the condition.


Thomas won a standing ovation from delegates at the RCN conference in Newport, south Wales, after speaking about his decision to make those announcements and the importance of educating people about HIV.

“This is still a subject people are petrified of – really afraid of – but so many people don’t have knowledge of HIV.

“I was seen by some amazing nurses and I want to thank you for the work you do,” said Thomas, adding: “I have never met a bad nurse.”

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18 minutes ago

After being sued for not telling partner of his HIV status, now he’s campaigning for HIV awareness

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