Australia Northern Territory

Last updated on: 5 May 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

Australia Northern Territory
Whether Specific law enacted: 
Number of people prosecuted: 
Number of people convicted: 
Applicable law: 

Criminal Code Act

Key wording in the law: 

serious harm

Key Cases: 

In 1997, charges of “doing a dangerous act” against a HIV-positive person were dismissed.


Criminal Code(s177) Acts intended to cause serious harm or prevent apprehension

Any person who, with intent to disfigure or disable any person, or to cause serious harm to any person, or to resist or prevent the lawful arrest or detention of any person -

  1. causes harm to any person by any means;

is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for life.

Criminal Code(s181) Serious harm

Any person who unlawfully causes serious harm to another is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.

It is possible that the criminal laws described above could be used to prosecute a HIV-positive person for HIV transmission. One prosecution was commenced, but it did not result in a conviction.

There are no public health laws dealing with HIV transmission or disclosure of HIV status in the Northern Territory.