Former rugby star Gareth Thomas, 45, told fans he is living with HIV in an emotional video.

Since speaking out about his diagnosis, he said he has been contacted by the Prince Harry, 35, who is married to Meghan Markle, 37.

Recalling the moment, Gareth’s husband Stephen says receiving a message from the royal was “surreal”, while the rugby star joked Prince Harry had “interrupted” them.

In a joint interview in this week’s OK! Magazine, Stephen said of the text: “That was surreal!

“We went for a walk and Gareth said: ‘Oh my God, I’ve just had a text off Prince Harry!’

Gareth, who married Stephen in 2013, added: “It said: ’Gareth, it’s Harry. Are you free to talk?’”

He jokingly added: “The first time in ages we have some ‘us’ time with the dog, and we were interrupted by Prince Harry of all people!”

Sharing further details of the pair’s conversation, Gareth said the royal gave him “a lot of really positive, encouraging words”.

He added Prince Harry was “proud” of the way he conducted himself and shared his news to empower others.

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“I know what he wants to do, he wants to work with me now to make sure that this message doesn’t fade,” Gareth continued.

“It’s a hot topic at the moment and we want to keep it a hot topic and keep people feeling like they can talk about it.”

Gareth announced he is HIV positive in a video in view of 286,000 Twitter followers.

The rugby star said those living with HIV are misrepresented as “walking around with walking sticks who are close to dying”.

He added he wants to “break the stigma” and asked fans for their support.

As well as Prince Harry, Gareth Thomas also received support from Carol Vorderman and a host of other celebrities.

The former Countdown maths whizz shared the star’s video with the message: “We love you Alfie @gareththomas14. You will always have our support x.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also wrote: “Gareth Thomas has again shown enormous strength in declaring himself HIV positive. A role model challenging stigma and prejudice.

For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.

Read the full interview in this week’s OK! Magazine out now.