Ricky Gervais defends his controversial AIDS ‘joke’

"I don't hold the same world view as my jokes. Most people get that."

Ricky Gervais has defended a controversial ‘joke’ he made about AIDS.

Earlier this week the writer-actor-comedian joined in with a Twitter meme asking people to suggest “things you can say both during sex and during a funeral”. Gervais simply replied “AIDS?”.

Gervais’ comment attracted criticism on social media. “The idea that you think AIDS is a death sentence is as dated as your comedy, Ricky,” tweeted Ryan Butcher, the deputy editor of Gay Times magazine.

The National AIDS Trust also called out the comment, tweeting at Gervais: “Nice. Why let accuracy about HIV get in the way of having a pop at an already very stigmatised group of people?! #keepingitclassy” Thanks to medical advances, people diagnosed with HIV early and treated effectively now have a near-normal life expectancy.

Gervais then defended himself. “You mean, why aren’t jokes factually actuate [sic}?” he wrote. “Because they’re jokes. I don’t hold the same world view as my jokes. Most people get that.”

Earlier this year Gervais defended himself after being criticised for making a joke about a dead baby.

He wrote at the time: “”Is there any subject you shouldn’t joke about?” is no less ridiculous a question than “Is there any subject you shouldn’t talk about?”