Last updated on: 6 July 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

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

CHILEAN PENAL CODE. 1875. (Reformed) Unofficial Translation

PART II - TITLE VI - Section 14 - Crimes and simple offenses against public health

Articles 316 to 318

Key wording in the law: 

CHILEAN PENAL CODE. 1875. (Reformed) Unofficial Translation

PART II - TITLE VI - Section 14 - Crimes and simple offenses against public health:

Art. 316

Anyone who disseminates pathogenic germs with the aim of producing a disease shall be punished with imprisonment in its minimum degree and a fine of twenty-one to thirty basic salaries.

Art. 317

If as a result of any of the crimes identified in the four preceding articles, there is death or serious illness of any person, corporal punishment shall be increased by one or two degrees, depending on the nature and number of such consequences, and the fine may be increased up to twice the maximum specified in each case. If any of these offenses were committed by gross negligence or simple negligence in breach of regulations, the penalties will be less rigorous in its minimum degree or a fine of six to twenty basic salaries.


Anyone who put in danger the public health by breaching the rules of hygiene and health, duly issued by the authority, in times of disaster, epidemic or contagion, shall be punished with imprisonment at its lowest level minimum fine or six to twenty basic salaries.

Original Spanish Version

Código Penal de la República de Chile. 1875. (Reformado)

LIBRO II - TITULO VI - Sección 14 - Crímenes y simples delitos contra la salud pública

Art. 316

El que diseminare gérmenes patógenos con el propósito de producir una enfermedad, será penado con presidio mayor en su grado mínimo y multa de veintiuno a treinta sueldos vitales.

Art. 317

Si a consecuencia de cualquiera de los delitos señalados en los cuatro artículos precedentes, se produjere la muerte o enfermedad grave de alguna persona, las penas corporales se elevarán en uno o dos grados, según la naturaleza y número de tales consecuencias, y la multa podrá elevarse hasta el doble del máximo señalado en cada caso. Si alguno de tales hechos punibles se cometiere por imprudencia temeraria o por mera negligencia con infracción de los reglamentos respectivos, las penas serán de presidio menor en su grado mínimo o multa de seis a veinte sueldos vitales.

Art. 318

El que pusiere en peligro la salud pública por infracción de las reglas higiénicas o de salubridad, debidamente publicadas por la autoridad, en tiempo de catástrofe, epidemia o contagio, será penado con presidio menor en su grado mínimo o multa de seis a veinte sueldos vitales.


Chilean Penal Code originally dated from 1875,has been reformed several times.  Consequently the code presents terminology like "pathogenic germs" which today is not common in penal codes.

It is debatable whether the penal type contemplated in the article 316 is applicable to HIV transmission.

The article 318 seems to contemplate exposure to HIV infection.

The specific HIV Law does not contain obligation to inform  sexual partners of one's infection, however the health authority can realize any inquest.

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

Numbers of people living with HIV:

Acknowledgement: We are grateful to Edgar Carrasco (ex-Director ACCSI-Human Rights Organization, Caracas-Venezuela) who provided most of the laws that could be potentially used.

Vivo Positivo

VIH y sida en Chile

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. Foreigners with a known HIV infection are not subject to specific residence regulations. There are no regulations regarding the control, deportation or expulsion of those concerned.

Antiretroviral medication can be carried for personal use (quantities according to duration of stay). It is recommended to carry a prescription.

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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: Different for heterosexuals and homosexuals

For updated information, please go to: