Australia Western Australia

Last updated on: 25 April 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

Western Australia
Whether Specific law enacted: 
Number of people prosecuted: 
3 known
Number of people convicted: 
3 known
Applicable law: 

Criminal Code 1913

Key wording in the law: 

grievous bodily harm

Key Cases: 

Dwayne Rowland 1999 convicted and sentenced to 10 years for Reckless Infection. Died in Prison. The West Australian, 17 December 1996.


Criminal Code1913 (s294) Acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm or prevent arrest: Any person who, with intent to maim, disfigure, or disable any person, or to do some grievous bodily harm to any person, or to resist or prevent the lawful arrest or detention of any person

(1) unlawfully wounds or does any grievous bodily harm to any person by any means whatever; is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.

Criminal Code 1913(s297) Grievous bodily harm: (1) Any person who unlawfully does grievous bodily harm to another is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

Public health laws have not been updated since the early 20th century, and are largely irrelevant to the sexual transmission of HIV.

The Health Act 1911 (S. 264) states that: A person affected with any infectious disease must not willfully expose himself in any public house, public place, or public vehicle without proper precautions against spreading the infection.