Openly gay television host Anderson Cooper, has used a segment of his CNN programme to criticise a televangelist who claimed that gay men in San Francisco were purposely spreading HIV using special rings.

US televangelist Pat Robertson of the 700 Club, claimed that gay men have been purposely spreading HIV using special rings which cut the hand of strangers they shake hands with.

The founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), made the comments on Tuesday, specifying that the conspiracy was most prevalent in cities such as San Francisco.

During the Ridiculist section of Anderson 360, the show’s host played several clips during which Robertson gives advice, and social commentary, which also included: “30% of women are involved in pornography”, and several comments during which he says to control a cheating wife, a man could “become a Muslim and beat her”.

Since making the comments this week, the Christian host has claimed that his comments were taken out of context, and has since had CBN edit the interview, however the original version remained for some time on other platforms.

Robertson in July spoke against equal marriage during his programme, joking that Facebook should install a “vomit” button to represent his reaction to pictures of gay people kissing.