Gareth Thomas gave a powerful and emotional speech at the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards 2019, powered by Jaguar.
The Welsh rugby star, was forced to publicly reveal his HIV status after a tabloid newspaper threatened to disclose his private medical information with the world, teared up after being presented with the Game Change Award by Clare Balding at the star-studded ceremony at Camden Roundhouse.
He said: "I can't believe I'm standing here, when six months ago I felt because of intrusion my life was over," Thomas said during his acceptance speech.
"So I want to thank any one in this room previously for your support, but post my announcement of living with HIV as well."
The former Wales captain continued: "But there are two very special people in this room that I have to thank. And that's my husband and my step-daughter because genuinely, behind closed doors, when I lived in absolute fear of being rejected, being turned away and not being supported, those two people stood by me and they gave me the strength to be able to stand here today.
"So, as much as I may be a game changer, I'm only that because I stood by two game changers and they made my life possible.
"And just to finish, as a sign of strength, I just want to say, I have HIV - but HIV does not fucking have me!"
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