Last updated on: 3 May 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

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

Penal Code of Bhutan, 2004.

Key wording in the law: 

Reckless Endangerment

Key Cases: 



Penal Code (s 160) Reckless Endangerment-

A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of reckless endangerment if their reckless conduct places another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury. This carries the penalty of a minimum one month imprisonment and maximum possible sentence of less than one year.

Penal Code (s 161) The offence of reckless endangerment shall be a petty misdemeanour.

To our knowledge there have been no prosecutions or convictions or convictions for the transmission of HIV under this law so the application of the law to alleged HIV transmission is, at present, merely theoretical.

Other laws and policies with an impact on responses to HIV

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

Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Bhutan. There are no disclosure regulations or restrictions for HIV/AIDS patients who enter Bhutan on a tourist visas for a maximum two week visit.

For longer stays applicants must present the results of an HIV/AIDS test completed within the six months prior to their visit. The test can also be administered by Bhutanese officials upon arrival.

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: Marriage laws vary in this country depending on area

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