Prince Harry has been praised by Wales Rugby star, Gareth Thomas for his HIV awareness campaign, as the Duke of Sussex joined forces with players and The Terrence Higgins Trust to raise awareness for National HIV awareness and Testing Week, which takes place from November 16th-22nd.
Prince Harry was also presented with a tiny rugby shirt for baby Archie at the HIV awareness event.
In a statement released by the Royal family of Sussex discussing the HIV awareness, and Friday event, stated that the Duke has been a longtime advocate of HIV awareness, and of eradicating the stigma surrounding the virus – an extension of his mother’s legacy.
“Not enough people know that thanks to the work of so many over the years, HIV is no longer a death sentence and testing for it is quick and easy” Sussex Royal has said.
The Sussex Royal continued saying:
“Today the Duke shared the magnitude of having someone like Gareth Thomas, one of our most legendary Welsh rugby players, demonstrate that you can be HIV positive and live a healthy, strong, fulfilling life. Gareth is an excellent role model for anyone living in fear, and an amazing example of both physical and mental strength.
An estimated 1 in 14 people in the UK live with HIV and are still undiagnosed. Please get tested and take control of your life and your health – even if you don’t feel you’re at risk, getting tested will help smash the stigma and normalise it for others” Sussex Royal said.
At Friday event, Prince Harry gifted with a rugby kit for his son inscribed with the little boy’s name.
Mr Thomas praised the Duke of Sussex for his efforts in raising awareness about HIV testing at the event
The welsh champion, who revealed in September that he is HIV positive, said Harry has “done so much to normalise HIV testing and fight the stigma across the globe”.
The former player’s comments came as he was named as a member of the Terrence Higgins Trust’s new HIV Commission.
Thomas said of his appointment: “I spoke out about living with HIV, not for me but for all those people who are struggling and don’t have a platform.
“For them, I want to do everything I can to challenge stigma and outdated views about HIV.
“That’s why I’m thrilled to be joining the HIV Commission because I want to be a part of a positive change and play a role in driving us towards our goal where no-one else contracts HIV.”
Thomas was the highest-profile sportsman in the UK to reveal he was gay when he came out in 2009 and earlier this year said he was forced to reveal his HIV diagnosis after a tabloid newspaper threatened to publish it.
The ex-fullback, who captained both Wales and the British Lions, is thought to be the first UK sportsman to go public about living with HIV.