Former rugby international Gareth Thomas became one of the first openly HIV-positive people to appear on the cover of a mainstream British magazine on Thursday, a move hailed as chipping away at the stigma over the virus. The Welsh sports star said revealing that he was gay and living with HIV sometimes left him feeling “a little exposed” but he had no regrets over going public in the Men’s Health UK magazine cover story. “I walk down the street and there’s that realization that people who I don’t even know are aware of my medical history, my sexuality,” he told the magazine. “That can be quite invasive. But the reality is I’m in a better place now than I ever was when people didn’t know my sexuality, so I’d rather it be this way than how it was before.” Thomas came out as gay in 2009 and in September this year announced that he had been living with HIV “for years,” as he appealed for support to “break the stigma” around HIV.