Televangelist and failed 1988 Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson claimed on his 700 Club broadcast Tuesday that the LGBT community in San Francisco intentionally tries to infect other people with HIV. He suggested HIV-positive people use jagged rings to intentionally cut others when shaking hands, in an attempt to transmit the virus.
ROBERTSON: You know what they do in San Francisco, some in the gay community there they want to get people, so if they got the stuff they’ll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger.
ROBERTSON: Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.
Watch the video:
HIV cannot be transmitted through casual contact, such as a handshake. While a small number of people have been infected through exposure to blood in household settings, there is no evidence of the sort of transmission Robertson suggests.