Harry has taken two public HIV tests and said people “should not be ashamed or embarrassed”, but treat it the same way they protect themselves against viruses such as flu. Thomas, 45, said: “Stigma is this real thing that affects people in very negative ways. “I think someone like Harry has a way bigger platform than any of us and he can reach parts of the world where people are still very much living in shame.”
The pair greeted each other with a hug and Thomas revealed they spoke after Harry sent a message of support following his HIV revelation in a newspaper.
Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw presented Harry with a jersey for his six-month-old son with “Archie” on the back.
Thomas was handed a larger version with his nickname “Alfie”, a joke on his “supposed resemblance” to the alien in the TV sitcom ALF.
Harry, a long-time supporter of sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust, said Thomas had “broken down the stigma and that will help so many people”.
He added: “We need to normalise testing to prove it is nothing to be concerned about.”
HIV Testing Week, which starts on November 16, aims to bring HIV transmission to an end.
Diagnoses in England are at their lowest since 2000.
Early detection and treatment means sufferers cannot pass on the virus.