Gareth Thomas has revealed he married husband Stephen nearly three years ago, as he told the world of his HIV diagnosis.
The former rugby player has kept his marriage out of the limelight, but revealed that the pair met while helping children who were struggling in school.
Stephen is from the Valley and the pair live together in Bridgend with Stephen’s daughter, Anna.
‘Me and Stephen have been together four and a half years and I told him about my diagnosis early on in our relationship,’ said Gareth.
‘Stephen is from the Valley and isn’t used to media attention or the idea of giving interviews, but he loves me and supports me 100% in what I’m doing.
‘I was afraid of telling him, but I remember thinking, “if you are who I think you are, this won’t be an issue.”
‘And if it had been an issue, then it wouldn’t have been the right match anyway.’
Gareth told The Mirror that Stephen does not have HIV.
The happy couple were married in front of 70 family and friends including Gareth’s close pal H from pop band Steps.
Gareth was forced to consult legal representatives and speak out about his diagnosis after a tabloid newspaper found out about his HIV status and sent reporters to his parents’ home.
He explained: ‘I needed to take control of my life. When you have a secret that other people know about it makes you really vulnerable towards them. And I just I felt like I had no control over my own life.
Speaking ahead of a documentary for BBC Wales, he added that he had thought his life would be over after finding out the diagnosis.
‘When I first found out that I was going to have to live with HIV, the first thing I thought was straight away: I was going to die,’ he said.
‘It’s not like I blame people for not knowing this. This is a subject that because of the 80s scenarios people don’t talk about it because that’s the only information they have.
‘The overriding question that everybody said to me – the first question everyone says to me when I tell them I’m living with HIV – is “Are you going to be OK?”
‘And it’s a really compassionate question to ask. But, this is meant the nicest way possible, it’s a really uneducated question.’
Gareth Thomas: HIV and Me will be shown on BBC One Wales on Wednesday 18 September 9pm
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