Last week Gareth Thomas, former Welsh national Rugby player, announced that he has HIV after being blackmailed by a journalist who decided to tell his parents before he had the chance.

That is absolutely disgusting “journalism” but not surprising these days when the truth and integrity seems to be only stumbled across occasionally. We live in an era where newspapers have done away with being impartial and now openly influence politics and lie. But could this have a silver lining?

While I do not condone what the journalist has done, and never will, we now have an elite sportsman who has come out of the closet about his sexuality and received a lot of support. Now he’s also a very well known and liked gay sportsman living with HIV. It sucks that the burden has fallen on his shoulders but he has become an ambassador tasked with shattering the stigma that still surrounds HIV. There will now be straight men who will be having conversations about HIV that may never even thought about it before.

The second positive from this was the visibility of love and support from his husband over the weekend when he crossed the line at the finish of an Ironman triathlon. That will help with the stigma and hopefully reassure HIV positive guys out there worried that they can’t find love that they genuinely can.

I used to be in the camp of guys who didn’t think they could date someone with HIV but in the era of Undetectable guys on treatment and negative guys on PrEP there is no reason to be concerned. I’ve learned a lot.