Bahamas

Last updated on: 14 November 2013

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

Bahamas
Whether Specific law enacted: 
Yes
Number of people prosecuted: 
0
Number of people convicted: 
0
Applicable law: 

Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Act 1991

Key wording in the law: 

Section 8 disclosure of AIDS

Key Cases: 

None

Discussion: 

Section 8. Prostitution and disclosure of AIDS

 (2) Any person who knows that he is infected with a virus causing, or known to cause, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (commonly known as "AIDS")  and who has sexual intercourse with any other person, with the consent of that other person but without disclosing the fact of the infection to that other person, is guilty of an offence and liable to be detained for a term of five years in such place and under such conditions as may be specified by the court before which he is convicted; and, while so detained, he shall be deemed to be in legal custody.

(3) It shall be a sufficient defence to any charge under subsection (2), if it is made to appear to the court before which the charge shall be brought that the person with whom the person so charged had sexual intercourse knew, or had reasonable cause to believe, before sexual connection was occasioned, that the person so charged was so infected.

Section 9. No person shall be convicted of an offence under section 7 or 8 (1) upon the evidence of one witness unless such evidence be corroborated in some material particular by evidence implicating the accused person.

From the information received, it appears that due to stigma, discrimination and fear, there is not much attention paid to the issue.

Disclosure of HIV infection remains problematic.

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

Sash Bahamas

Victor Rollins

P.O. Box N-7700

Nassau, Bahamas

1-242-325-2175

Bahamas Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (BNN+)

Kayla Cremer

Other laws and policies with an impact on responses to HIV

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

HIV/AIDS restrictions: The Bahamian Ministry of Health has recommended that persons who are HIV-positive not be admitted to The Bahamas. However, Bahamian Immigration does not routinely require testing for persons arriving for less than 30 days. Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for other visitors to and foreign residents of The Bahamas. Please verify this information with the Embassy of The Bahamas before you travel.

For updated information, please go to: www.hivrestrictions.org

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

For updated information, please go to: http://ilga.org

Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Act 1991

Section 8. Prostitution and disclosure of AIDS

(1) Any person who - 


(a) knowingly lives wholly or in part on the earnings of prostitution; or

(b) in any place persistently solicits or importunes for immoral pruposes,

is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for five years.