Gareth Thomas revealed that he was left feeling suicidal after he was diagnosed with HIV.
The former rugby star and Celebrity Big Brother star said that he had felt shame and keeping such a big secret has taken its toll.
The 45-year-old didnt tell his family or friends but did tell his husband Stephen when they first met.
I had a fear people would judge me and treat me like a leper because of a lack of knowledge. I was in a dark place, feeling suicidal. I thought about driving off a cliff, he said.
To me, wanting to die was just a natural thought and felt like the easier way out, but you have to confront things.
And having a strong support system and the personal strength and experience of overcoming those emotions got me through it.
Gareth took to Twitter to share his diagnosis with fans, telling them: I want to share my secret with you. Why? Because it is mine to tell you.
Not the evils that make my life hell by threatening to tell you before I do. And because I believe in you and I trust you.
Im living with HIV. Now you have that information, that makes me extremely vulnerable but it does not make me weak.
Gareth was forced to consult legal representatives and speak out about his diagnosis after a tabloid newspaper found out about his HIV status and sent reporters to his parents home.
He told The Mirror that opening up to his parents was empowering.
When I was diagnosed I decided straight away not to tell my family. I wanted to protect them and I didnt want to put them through the pain, he said.
But then I realised that I had to be truthful with my family and my friends – and slowly, as I began to tell them, it empowered me.