Central Africa


  • South Africa: First-ever successful prosecution for 'HIV exposure' upheld as attempted murder by Pretoria High Court http://t.co/Vin7xMB2wU 14 Aug 2013
  • RT @ProfWetpaint: Hep C phylogenentics in court (prosecution of anesthetist in Spain): http://t.co/Dmml2ZXZak 23 Jul 2013
  • US: House Appropriations C'ttee passes amendment that would fund review of HIV-specific criminal laws http://t.co/QEGBKoWuQb #HIVisnotacrime 19 Jul 2013
  • UK: NAT (National AIDS Trust) produces new guide for police on occupational exposure to HIV http://t.co/C8sqhtGuQ1 19 Jul 2013
  • UK: NAT (National AIDS Trust) produces new guide for police on occupational exposure to HIV 19 Jul 2013
  • Canada:Expert witness likens risk of male performing oral sex on female with HIV to “getting hit by a falling piano” http://t.co/tHo3FQmhHX 19 Jul 2013
  • Uganda: Activists reject mandatory HIV tests, disclosure without consent in proposed HIV Prevention and Control Bill http://t.co/jmMmLcwKm4 19 Jul 2013
  • Uganda: Parliamentary Committee considers controversial criminal law amendments to 2010 Prevention of HIV/AIDS Bill http://t.co/viOousvvZr 19 Jul 2013
  • Canada: HIV non-disclosure prosecutions "out of all proportion and profoundly unjust" by @AIDSLAW ED http://t.co/bjfEQ2WVmz (correct link) 10 Jul 2013
  • Canada: HIV non-disclosure prosecutions are "out of all proportion and profoundly unjust" by @AIDSLAW ED http://t.co/7gUmDyDHNk #HIVCan 10 Jul 2013
  • "An incredible resource on HIV criminalization->@HIVJusticeNet This issue concerns us ALL..." Thank you for the endorsement @zoemavroudi 09 Jul 2013
  • Canada: Halifax prosecutor claims HIV seroconversion can take up to 10 years following sexual exposure http://t.co/MpBJFN6hr2 #HIVignorance 08 Jul 2013
  • Greece: Scientists and human rights campaigners condemn reinstatement of Provision 39A allowing forced HIV testing http://t.co/hTbKEo0AXY 08 Jul 2013
  • US: Nushawn Williams loses civil confinement hearing, will remain in custody for life http://t.co/fLccyRo9YP #noHIVjustice 04 Jul 2013
  • RT @joeamon: #Greece: Repeal Abusive Health Regulation http://t.co/tnDRpvU9NK #HIV forced testing, detention 04 Jul 2013
  • RT @zoemavroudi: Greek Center 4Disease Control @keelpno_gr announced it supports law that led to forced tests of HIV+drug users.Its twitter… 04 Jul 2013
  • RT @condommonologue: #HIV nondisclosure law has not kept up w/ scientific advancements on HIV transmission. Must c free film PositiveWomen … 04 Jul 2013
  • RT @TheSeroProject: HIV Criminalization Poses a Serious Threat to Transgender Health http://t.co/X8zSwXP6Nb 04 Jul 2013
  • Video, slides, resources now available from last week's HIV criminalisation webinar on the US REPEAL Act http://t.co/sQImQGjyPy 04 Jul 2013
  • Greece: New health minister reinstates forced HIV testing law weeks after the former ministerial decree was repealed http://t.co/zF72fVSCaH 04 Jul 2013


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.