Last updated on: 30 August 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

Whether Specific law enacted: 
Yes - 1999
Number of people prosecuted: 
Number of people convicted: 
Applicable law: 

Article 140 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic. (introduced 1999)

This is an HIV-specific law.

Both exposure (140.1) and transmission (140.2) are subject to prosecution.

Sentences range from 'Corrective Work up to 2 years' through to 8 years imprisonment.

Key wording in the law: 

Infection with HIV of a person.

140.1. Wittingly subjecting of a person in danger of HIV infection – is punished by corrective works of up to two years, or deprivation of freedom for term up to two years, or imprisonment of till one year.

140.2. Infection of another person with HIV committed by a person who knew [himself or herself] to be infected – is punished by imprisonment of two to five years.

140.3. The action provided by article 140.2 of the present Code, resulting in infection with HIV of two or more persons or minors, is punished by imprisonment of five to eight years.

140.4. Infection of another person with HIV resulting from improper performance of the professional duties is punished by imprisonment for up to three years with deprivation of the right to hold certain offices or to engage in certain activities for up to three years.


Our survey respondent (the Ministry of Justice) advises us that the transmission of HIV has been prosecuted under the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic since 1999.  Separate legislation is in place in order to prosecute the transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases.

In 2004 our scan revealed that  either three or four people have been prosecuted for transmitting HIV in Azerbaijan. According to the Ministry of Justice, the first attempt at prosecution was brought under an old law from 1987 but they were not able to provide us with any further information about that prosecution. However, since the enactment of the new law in 1999, three people have been prosecuted and convicted. The first of these prosections was brought in 2001. One person has been prosecuted and convicted in 2004. The dates of the third prosecution are not known.

No information was available on the gender, mode of transmission or occupation at the time of prosecution of those prosecuted.

In February 2008 what we believe to be the fifth prosecution received press coverage. Two reports from Azerbaijan news agencies highlighted the case of 18-year-old Elnara Ahmadova, who faced sentencing for 'deliberate' HIV transmission. Reports suggest that Elnara was diagnosed five years ago, and is/was a sex worker from an early age. She is accused of deliberately infecting 100 to 200 men.

To read more about Azerbaijan, check

This report is from the Azeri-Press Agency : Court to deliver sentence on case of Elnara Ahmadova accused of deliberately infecting 200 people with HIV in Azerbaijan 05 Feb 2008 17:30

This shorter report is from Trend News Agency : UNICEF Alarmed by Conviction of Azerbaijani AIDS Carrier Girl 05.02.08 18:14

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

Ministry of Justice, Baku, Azerbaijan.

Further reading: 

This Press Reports above are also viewable at :

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 restrictions for people living with HIV and AIDS. There are no specific legal regulations concerning people with AIDS.

Neither a medical certificate nor an HIV test result is required when entering the country. However, medical tests are required for those applying for temporary or permanent residence permits. The applications by people with health issues, including HIV and AIDS, are reviewed by the State Migration Service and approved on a case-by-case basis.  There are no regulations regarding the control, deportation or expulsion of those concerned.

Antiretroviral medication can be imported for personal use. It is recommended to carry a prescription (translated into English or Russian).

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: