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Gareth Thomas: Former Wales rugby star settles HIV case with ex

Former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas has settled a legal dispute with an ex-partner who accused him of “deceptively” transmitting HIV to him.

Ian Baum alleged Mr Thomas hid his HIV status and “failed to take reasonable care” to ensure he did not pass it on.

The former British and Irish Lion said he had settled the case for £75,000 plus costs, but it was not an admission of liability or guilt.

Mr Baum’s lawyers confirmed a settlement had been agreed.

In court papers filed last year, Mr Baum had claimed he had a relationship with Mr Thomas, known as Alfie, between 2013 and 2016 and that he was HIV negative when the relationship began.

It was alleged that he found out Mr Thomas had HIV when he saw a tablet marked GSK1.

“On Googling the GSK1 pill, the claimant discovered that the defendant was taking antiviral HIV medication,” the documents said.

Mr Baum then “immediately” made an appointment for a HIV test and the court papers stated that when he found out he was positive for the virus, he was left “devastated”.

Mr Baum’s lawyers, McCue Jury & Partners, said the settlement was reached based on a non-admission of liability by Mr Thomas.

What is HIV?

  • HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus – the immunodeficiency is the weakening of the immune system by the virus
  • If untreated it can lead to late-stage HIV or Aids, the name for a collection of illnesses caused by the virus
  • Medication helping those with HIV to live long, healthy lives has been available for decades
  • Modern medication reduces the viral load to undetectable levels, meaning someone can’t pass on HIV and their health is protected
  • There were more than 106,000 people living with HIV in the UK in 2020

Sources: Terrence Higgins Trust and NHS

Mr Thomas won 100 caps for Wales and three for the Lions during his playing days which saw him play for Bridgend, Cardiff, Toulouse and Cardiff Blues.

He ended his career with Welsh rugby league side Crusaders before retiring in 2011.

Two years earlier, he became the first openly gay professional rugby union player when he came out.

In 2019, he revealed on Twitter that he had HIV, saying he wanted to end the stigma around it. BBC News