Bosnia and Herzegovina

Last updated on: 29 June 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Whether Specific law enacted: 
Number of people prosecuted: 
Number of people convicted: 
Applicable law: 

Possibly Chapter 21 of the Entity Laws (Criminal Acts against the Health of People) Article 211: Transmission of Communicable Diseases (2003)

Article 211: Transmission of Communicable Diseases (2003)

This is not an HIV-specific law.

Only actual transmission is subject to prosecution.

Sentences range from a fine through to 10 years imprisonment.


Key wording in the law: 

Article 211 reads: The person who does not act according to regulations or orders by which the responsible body defines examinations, disinfection and care of sick people or acts against other measures for prevention and combat of communicable diseases among people, and by such act causes transmission of communicable disease, shall be obliged to pay a fine or go to prison up to two years. If by act from article 1 transmission of incurable communicable disease occurs, the offender shall be punished by prison in duration from one to ten years. If acts described in the article 1 and 2 are done unintentionally the offender shall be punished by payment of a fine or prison for up to six months.


From the responses received in 2004 it appeared that there had been no prosecutions for HIV transmission in Bosnia up to that date. The Ministry of Justice and WHO Bosnia both said transmission of HIV is not criminalised. However, UNICEF indicated the laws regulating the transmission of communicable disease could also be applied to HIV transmission.

UNICEF in Bosnia and Herzegovina reported at that time that they were taking the first steps in initiating a review of the legislation. As of 2008, we were awaiting any further information regarding the result of any such review.

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

 We have relied upon the information from the 2004 study. 

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 specific entry or residence regulations for people with HIV and AIDS. Foreigners with a known HIV infection are not subject to specific residence regulations. No HIV test result is required when entering the country. There are no regulations regarding the control, deportation or expulsion of those concerned.

The Republika Srpska has a law on population protection from infectious diseases. The law requires that foreigners with long term residency status (i.e. staying for more than 3 months) have to perform regular medical examinations. Related testing includes HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B and C. At application, test results should be no older than 3 months. The existing law may be replaced by a new one soon. (2009)

A medical prescription should be carried when entering Bosnia Herzegovina with antiretroviral medication.

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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

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