Prince Harry gave a big hug to HIV-positive rugby player Gareth Thomas

A few months ago, rugby player Gareth Thomas came out and told the world about his HIV-positive status. He did not really do it on his own terms. One of the British tabloids outed his status TO HIS PARENTS, and after that, Gareth Thomas spoke publicly about his status. He’s become an outspoken advocate for getting HIV-tested and more. Well, Prince Harry is the patron to the British Rugby Association (or whatever it’s called) AND Harry is a big activist around HIV/AIDS. So when Harry did an event with Gareth this morning in London, Harry made sure to give a big hug to Gareth in front of the cameras. It reminds me so much of what Princess Diana did and would have done.

Prince Harry and a sporting legend joined forces on Friday to help highlight the need for more understanding about HIV — and to beat the stigma surrounding testing. Harry teamed up with rugby player Gareth Thomas, who recently revealed he was living with HIV. Thomas has received the support of both the prince and his brother Prince William for opening up about his status and educating the public about his diagnosis.

Harry, who has taken on his late mother Princess Diana’s cause of educating the public about HIV, met at the rugby club Harlequins, in southwest London, to mark National HIV Testing Week, which starts on November 16. Harry, 35, has undergone two HIV tests in public in recent years – one alongside singer Rihanna in 2016.

During his visit on Friday, Harry met with players from Harlequins’ men’s and women’s teams, as well as inclusive rugby club Kings Cross Steelers, who will share how much of an impact Thomas has had since speaking out about his status. The event was hosted by Terrence Higgins Trust, the largest voluntary sector provider of HIV and sexual health services in the U.K. It recently established an independent HIV Commission with National AIDS Trust to develop recommendations for an effective action plan to help reach the ambitious goal of ending new HIV transmissions in England by 2030.

[From People]

I’m… trying to remember the last time I saw Prince William warmly greet anyone with a full-body hug. Has it ever happened? Anyway, long story short, there’s still a huge stigma around getting tested and there’s still a huge stigma around HIV-positive people. Harry has been doing this work for years, before he even met Meghan. He feels passionately about it. And we stan.

Also: Omid Scobie reports that Harry has scheduled an event for November 17th. But what about the “six week break” everyone was going on about? Oh, wait, it was always bulls–t?

— Omid Scobie (@scobie) November 8, 2019

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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