A popular user of social video Vine has apologised, after he insisted HIV was a “gay thing” and screamed the homophobic slur “fag”.

16-year-old Nash Grier, who has 8.3 million followers on the site, came under fire for the April video earlier this week.

The video – which has since been deleted – starts with a clip from an HIV awareness campaign. The clip says: “Get tested for HIV. It’s not a gay thing.”

The video then cuts to Grier, who shouts: “Yes it is! FAG!”

In a public apology on Twitter, he wrote: “I apologize for anything negative I’ve said towards gays and for that matter anyone. I was young, ignorant, stupid, and in a bad place.

“I’ve moved on and learned from my mistakes and I am so truly sorry to anyone I have offended. I have nothing against anyone or anything that promotes equality. Sorry again.”

Grier has previously come under fire for a series of homophobic tweets from before he became a hit on Vine, as well as for a YouTube video in which he made a series of homophobic comments.

The North Carolina teen is the most followed user on Vine, and usually uses his channel to post clips featuring pranks, jokes and his four-year-old sister.

In 2013 he tweeted, “Nobody is gunna ask you a question stop being so thirsty fags and shut up about ask.fm its for homos.”

With 8.3 million followers, he has more than celebrities such as Ariana Grande (2.4 million), Ellen DeGeneres (2 million) and Wiz Khalifa (1.7 million) as well as the official Vine account (1.4 million). The second most followed account, KingBach, only has 7.3 million followers.