Last updated on: 6 July 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

Whether Specific law enacted: 
Number of people prosecuted: 
Number of people convicted: 
Applicable law: 

Article 123 of the Criminal Code of Armenia

  • This is an HIV-specific law.
  • Both exposure and transmission are subject to prosecution.
  • The maximum sentence is 8 years.
Key wording in the law: 

Article 123. Infecting with AIDS virus.

1. Subjecting another person to the obvious danger of infection with AIDS, is punished with correctional labour for the term of up to 2 years, or with arrest for the term of up to 2 months, or with imprisonment for the term of up to 1 year.

2. Infecting another person with AIDS willfully or self-confidently, by another person who was aware that he had the disease, is punished with imprisonment for the term of up to 5 year.

3. The committed actions envisaged in part 2 of this Article, which was committed: 1) in relation to 2 or more persons; 2) in relation to a minor, 3) in relation to a pregnant woman, are punished with imprisonment for the term of 3 to 8 years.


No changes since the last survey in 2004 - all information correct and updated as of July 2008.

From the responses received, it appears no one has yet been prosecuted for the transmission of HIV in Armenia. The law distinguishes between exposure to ‘evident risk' and transmission ‘on purpose'. It is not clear what ‘evident risk' means in this respect. ‘On purpose', on the other hand, seems to include transmission by anyone who knows that they are HIV positive. It appears that a person could be prosecuted even if transmission of the virus does not take place. A longer custodial sentence is applied to those who transmit the virus ‘on purpose' to two or more persons, to juveniles or to evidently pregnant women.

Exposing another person to the risk of HIV infection could also be punished. The maximum sentence applicable is five years.

Transmission of other sexually transmitted infections is also subject to prosecution under the next article of the criminal code (article124) but so far we have not investigated whether the wording is similar to that used in section 123 .

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

Project office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Yerevan, Republic of Armenia.

National AIDS Center, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia.

Armenian National AIDS Foundation, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia.

Further reading: 

UNGASS UNAIDS Country report -  Armenia 2008/2009

Other laws and policies with an impact on responses to HIV

Laws and regulations relating to entry, stay or residence in the country: 

There are no specific entry regulations for people with HIV and AIDS in Armenia. Neither a medical certificate nor an HIV test result is required at the border.

Antiretroviral medication can be imported for personal use and for the duration of the planned stay (up to six weeks). A medical certificate including the diagnosis in Russian or Armenian language has to be presented at customs.

Former restrictions were removed with the new HIV law adopted in 2009. 

For updated information, please go to:

Laws relating to same sex, sexual relations: 

Male to Male relationships: Legal

Punishments for male to male relationships: No law

Female to Female Relationships: Legal

Age of consent: Equal for heterosexuals and homosexuals

Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: No law

For updated information, please go to: