Central Africa


  • What’s up with HIV laws in America? Great new video from @McClatchyDC https://t.co/5cUNvvdHs6 #hivisnotacrime #HIVcriminalisation# 23 Nov 2015
  • UK: @Law_Commission scoping paper rejects expanding HIV/STI law to prosecute non-disclosure or potential exposure https://t.co/yyfZeFYfam 09 Nov 2015
  • UK: No change to E&W HIV/STI criminalisation law/policy recommended by @Law_Commission pending a wider review. https://t.co/yyfZeFYfam 09 Nov 2015
  • New @IAPAC guidelines to achieve 90-90-90 targets recommend ending HIV criminalisation. (Thanks @DrJoe1234 and team) https://t.co/XAYD56kRve 06 Nov 2015
  • Bahrain: New HIV-specific law would criminalise #HIV non-disclosure to ‘authorities, their partners or relatives’ https://t.co/u6G4MIowmw 04 Nov 2015
  • #knowyourviralload Make routine #HIV viral load testing available to all https://t.co/05LPvcQlqS @_ARASAcomms @ITPCglobal 29 Oct 2015
  • Where has the prevention benefit of treatment impacted #HIVcriminalisation in Europe? https://t.co/mT01m2hNGW #EACS2015 #hivisnotacrime 28 Oct 2015
  • @KELINKenya, @ICWKenya, @ICW_Global Are you aware of this case? This woman needs a good defence lawyer https://t.co/IfGgS78WrT 28 Oct 2015
  • This new report is a sobering and timely analysis of the state of funding for the human rights response to HIV.... https://t.co/f9MDczXxKm 22 Oct 2015
  • Canada: New film explores the impact of using sexual assault law to prosecute HIV non-disclosure - See more at: http://t.co/ssHGMqI6Hr 15 Oct 2015
  • US: Is Louisiana's 'AIDS exposure' statute outdated? Advocates say it adds to stigma http://t.co/fE8JcZ2KED #hivisnotacrime #criminalization 16 Sep 2015
  • Find out what's #insidethebox. Watch and share the short film “Inside The Box", #HIVisNOTaCRIME http://t.co/Cws3i5zbp7 14 Sep 2015
  • Thanks for the alert@strongthomas. Terribly irresponsible reporting@FM104Phoneshow. Shame on you! Talk to@HIVIreland for balanced reporting. 21 Aug 2015
  • Mexico: Veracruz state passses new law that criminalises ’wilful’ HIV transmission despite concerted advocacy efforts http://t.co/wP2RzerP2m 10 Aug 2015
  • Canada: Majority of women with HIV who also inject drugs face legal obligation to disclose to sexual partners http://t.co/yAZBPRH7w3 #HIVCan 28 Jul 2015
  • US: Missouri police, prosecutors, media reach new low in overly zealous policing of overly broad HIV criminalisation http://t.co/PhtAb7MeIA 22 Jul 2015
  • Turn It Up! an innovative resource by @TheSeroProject for US prisoners with HIV needs help reaching Kickstarter goal http://t.co/eLIVUNEKY8 21 Jul 2015
  • RT @KELINKenya: We are advocating for the immediate release of a TB Patient jailed in Narok for Interrupting treatment http://t.co/Yvo7PFEY… 21 Jul 2015
  • RT @oronda: #TBisNotACrime campaign media briefing by @KELINKenya ahead of mention of case on 22 July,2015 @ Milimani High Court http://t.c… 21 Jul 2015
  • RT @oronda: Incarcerating TB patients beats the very purpose of taking them to prison if they are not in isolation #TBisNotACrime Cc. @KELI21 Jul 2015


Angola adopted an HIV-specific law in 2004 that, in Sections 14 and 15, places obligations on people aware they are living with HIV to both disclose prior to sex and to use condoms during sex  (full text available at the Global Criminalisation Scan). The law also criminalises both ‘negligent’ and ‘intentional’ sexual transmission. It is unclear whether any of these provisions have been implemented because a 2008 news report regarding proposed changes to the Penal Code suggests that HIV transmission had not yet been criminalised. Changes to the Penal Code would criminalise ‘knowingly’ transmitting an infectious disease, including HIV.1 The proposed prison sentence is between three and ten years.


Section 20 of Cameroon's Penal Code, drafted in 2002, includes the criminalisation of ‘knowing’ sexual HIV transmission punished with a life sentence, and ‘knowing’ sexual HIV exposure punished with a maximum five years in prison and a million Cameroonian franc fine. It is unclear whether this law has been enacted.2 The only reported HIV-related prosecution took place in 2002 for deliberate injection.3 In this case, a woman was found guilty of premeditated murder by poisoning under Sections 276(1)(a) and (b) of the previous Penal Code and sentenced to death by firing squad.4

Central African Republic

It is believed that the Central African Republic enacted HIV-specific laws based on the AWARE-HIV/AIDS model law in 2006, but there are no further details regarding criminal provisions or prosecutions.5


Chad passed an HIV-specific law in 2007, based on the AWARE-HIV/AIDS model law, which requires the immediate notification of a spouse or other sexual partners when someone tests HIV-positive.6 Article 55 criminalises "any person" who "involuntarily transmits HIV" by "mistake, recklessness, carelessness, [or] negligence" with a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to one million Chad francs. Article 59 criminalises anyone diagnosed HIV-positive who has unprotected sex "in order to transmit" HIV with a maximum prison sentence of ten years. A life sentence applies in the "case of recurrence or rape". In addition, the same sentence applies to anyone "who knowingly engages in an activity causing the transmission of HIV to another person". There have been no reports of prosecutions.


Sections 44 and 45 of a draft Bill to Protect People Living with HIV/AIDS contains criminal provisions. The wording was changed following a workshop convened by civil society in 2009 in accordance with UNAIDS’ recommendations (highlighted in Chapter 2: Laws). This lists the circumstances in which criminal law cannot be applied, with criminal liability limited to “intentional and deliberate” HIV transmission. It is unknown whether this Bill has since been enacted.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo passed an HIV-specific law in 2008 based on the AWARE-HIV/AIDS model law  (relevant sections of the law can be found at the Global Criminalisation Scan). It requires the immediate notification of a spouse or other sexual partners when someone tests HIV-positive, and broadly and non-specifically criminalises “deliberate transmission of HIV/AIDS”. The maximum prison sentence is between five and six years and a 500,000 Congolese franc fine. There have been no reports of prosecutions.

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea passed an HIV-specific law in 2006. Articles Six and Seven allow for the prosecution of diagnosed HIV-positive individuals for sexual HIV exposure and transmission if sex takes place in absence of a condom. Independent of any criminal liability, if transmission takes place, the guilty party must also "assume the obligation to support the newly infected party in all aspects of their life." There have been no reports of prosecutions.


  1. Afrik.com Intentional HIV infections in Angola raises heavy concerns. 30 May, 2008
  2. IRIN/Plus News Cameroon: whose responsibility is HIV transmission? 26 November, 2008
  3. Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nkongsamba Ministere Public et Noumen Theophile c Kinding Yango Huguette Judgement 113/crim, 25 June 2003
  4. Akonumbo AN HIV/AIDS Law and policy in Cameroon: overview and challenges African Human Rights Law Journal 6(1): 85-122, 2006
  5. Pearshouse R Legislation contagion: the spread of problematic new HIV laws in Western Africa. HIV/AIDS Policy & Law Review 12 (2/3), 2007
  6. Government of Chad Loi N°019/PR/2007 du 15 novembre 2007 portant lutte contre VIH/SIDA/IST et protection des Droits des Personnes On file with the author, 2007
This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.