Central Africa


  • @UNAIDS #HIV/#humanrights Reference Group updates HIV testing statement to include overly broad HIV criminalisation http://t.co/MJCien6YEa 03 Jul 2015
  • Nigeria: Ondo State now criminalises "any person who by whatever means transmits HIV to another person" in their anti-stigma law. The irony. 30 Jun 2015
  • World Health Organization publishes analysis of impact of overly broad #HIV criminalisation on public health http://t.co/2TrjKKZh37 30 Jun 2015
  • Kenya: Mandatory #HIV reporting challenged as unconstitutional and violation of people's rights by @KELINKenya http://t.co/d5NbEProDq 16 Jun 2015
  • Zambian network of people living with HIV says 'no' to overly broad #HIV criminalisation: unworkable and unjust http://t.co/UafvmONBPD 16 Jun 2015
  • Trial demonstrates that a human rights perspective to treatment for all people living with HIV is necessary @gnpplus http://t.co/Eg37lMcjx7 12 Jun 2015
  • The widespead belief that the false #Zuma #HIV tattoo story is true is down to #XenophobicSA http://t.co/TDAbpQAgX5 04 Jun 2015
  • South Africa: President #Zuma has NOT passed an ‘#HIV tattoo’ law but much of Africa thinks he has http://t.co/TDAbpQAgX5 04 Jun 2015
  • Nigeria: Senate passes problematic, overly broad and vague HIV-related criminal laws in the Sexual Offences Bill http://t.co/GWXFGtGdl2 04 Jun 2015
  • Powerful keynote address by Justice Dingake to SADC Parliamentary Forum on #HIV #criminalalisation in southern Africa http://t.co/4GkHZTyZ5r 03 Jun 2015
  • @ICW_Global publish updated position statement on overly broad #HIV criminalisation #HIVisnotacrime http://t.co/lmNJ1v8296 03 Jun 2015
  • Australia: How to achieve #HIV criminal law reform - Repealing Section 19A: How we got there, by @paulkidd http://t.co/QdvT4dJYDM #Repeal19A 28 May 2015
  • Australia: Victoria’s HIV-specific criminal law, Section 19A, finally repealed today http://t.co/Axm9iHkE92 @paulkidd @livingposvic @VACorg 28 May 2015
  • Australia: Victoria's HIV-specific criminal law, #19A, finally repealed. Live Tweets as it happened from @paulkidd https://t.co/VWVU5uKOqI 28 May 2015
  • US: Texas law #SB779 that would have allowed HIV test results to be used in any criminal proceedings is now dead. Advocacy and sanity wins! 27 May 2015
  • Malawi: High Court rules mandatory HIV testing is unconstitutional. Congrats to the 11 litigants and @Follow_SALC http://t.co/yUeCt27tvU 22 May 2015
  • Canada's legal approach to HIV non-disclosure and 'treatment as prevention' policies are not compatible http://t.co/Fx2bWLRhSr #HIVCan 21 May 2015
  • Czech Republic: Public Health Protection Act passed yesterday without controversial mandatory HIV testing provision for key populations. 21 May 2015
  • Czech Republic: Yesterday the Chamber of Deputies removed the mandatory HIV testing provision from the Public... http://t.co/shEV4f1Vvz 21 May 2015
  • Russia: Man gets 3 years in prison for allegedly infecting his girlfriend without disclosing he was living with HIV. http://t.co/g4UhzbfxoK 20 May 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.