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Tuesday 15th October 2019

X Factor's Steve Brookstein slammed for Gareth Thomas 'hypocrisy' attack

Rugby ace announced at the weekend he has HIV

Former X Factor star Steve Brookstein has taken a swipe at Gareth Thomas after the rugby ace was forced to reveal his HIV diagnosis.

In a string of tweets posted on Steve's Twitter account over the weekend, the 50-year-old singer accused gay men of "hypocrisy" and compared HIV to smoking and obesity.

He tweeted: "The hypocrisy of gay men discussing HIV is astonishing. They don't like HIV being compared to obesity or smoking.

Read more: Prince William and Kate Middleton offer their support to 'legendary' Gareth Thomas

"Yes, it is unfortunate and treatable but so is obesity and smoking. #GarethThomas."

One Twitter user branded him a "nasty piece of work" and an "ignorant pig", and Steve tweeted: "Funny how I'm getting attacked by slim homosexuals offended that I've compared HIV to obesity. Why? Both preventable."

They offered to educate him but Steve, who was on the first series of The X Factor in 2004, insisted: "All preventable. Same as accidents in extreme sports.

"My point is that there are many things that are a burden to society. I'm not suggesting any should be stigmatised.

"Drunks in A&E on a Saturday night are a burden and need educating. HIV is also preventable."

The hypocrisy of gay men discussing HIV is astonishing.

On Saturday (14.09.19), Gareth shared a video on Twitter in which he said he has been "forced" into revealing he is living with HIV.

The video showed a clearly emotional Gareth talking about an attempt to blackmail him.

He said in the clip: "I want to share my secret with you. Why? Because it's mine to tell you, not the evils who've made my life hell, threatening to tell you before I do.

"I'm living with HIV."

Speaking further, Gareth said the revelation doesn't make him "weak" but does make him "extremely vulnerable".

He added: "Now, even though I've been forced to tell you this, I choose to fight to educate and fight the stigma around this subject."

Read more: Gareth Thomas's emotional video after homophobic attack

He appeared on today's (17.09.19) episode of This Morning to talk about the decision to announce his HIV status.

The Welshman fought back tears as he spoke with hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield via video link.

He said on the programme: "[Medicine] has moved on so far and living with HIV isn't a condition that affects my life span in any way.

"It's selfish to make it about me, it's about everyone living with HIV. It doesn't just affect them, it affects their parents, it affects their friends."

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