An HIV activist in California has said that David Dimbleby’s recent scorpion tattoo is a sign that he may have the virus.

Speaking to the CNN TV channel in the US, William Conley said that several symbols were used as a sign of HIV positive status – including the scorpion, because of the sting in its tail.

But Lisa Power, policy director at the Terrence Higgins Trust told Metro: ‘It’s important to remember you can’t tell if someone is HIV positive through a tattoo or a secret sign. The only way you can know is by them telling you.

‘You shouldn’t try and second guess things like this.’

Although biohazard logos and other symbols and designs may be used as an indication of a virus or to tell someone of a kink preference, they are just as likely a design picked from a book because they look nice or signify something special to the owner.