El Salvador

Last updated on: 15 September 2014

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

El Salvador
Whether Specific law enacted: 
-
Number of people prosecuted: 
NA
Number of people convicted: 
NA
Applicable law: 

CRIMINAL CODE OF EL SALVADOR - Decree Law 1030 of April 26, 1997. (Reformed - Unofficial translation below)

These are the main criminal law regulations. Also  as below a further law was passed in 2003 which details rights afforded to people living with HIV. The pdf. of this law is only available in Spanish.

LEY DE PREVENCIÓN Y CONTROL DE LA INFECCIÓN PROVOCADA POR EL VIRUD DE INMUNODEFICIENCIA HUMANA No. 588 (2003) English title: PREVENTION AND CONTROL ACT FOR  INFECTION CAUSED BY HIV -DECREE No. 588 (2003)

 

 

Key wording in the law: 

CRIMINAL CODE OF EL SALVADOR - Decree Law 1030 of April 26, 1997. (Reformed - Unofficial translation)

Book II - Special Part - Title II - Chapter I - Injuries

Article 142 - Injuries
Anyone who, by any means, including infection, occasions in another, an impairment of their physical or mental integrity, which could result in a failure to meet the ordinary occupations or in an illness for a period of five to twenty days, having been required medical care or surgery, will be punished with imprisonment of one to three years.

Article 143 - Serious Injuries
The injuries are considered serious if they occasion inability to meet the ordinary occupations or illness for a longer period of twenty days, having been required medical or surgical treatment. In these cases a sentence of imprisonment of three to six years shall be imposed.

Article 144 - Very Serious Injuries

The sentence shall be of four to eight years of imprisonment if any of the following apply:

1) Severe physical deformity in the body;
2) Severe permanent functional disturbance, loss of, a function of an anatomical organ, or of a principal organ.
3) Severe mental disturbance and,
4) An illness which put in grave danger the health of the person.

Article 145 - Aggravated Injury
If, in the cases described in previous articles, applies any of the circumstances of aggravated homicide, the penalty shall be increased by up to one third of its peak.

Article 146 - Injuries Fault
Anyone guilty of inflicting injuries to another, shall be punished with imprisonment of six months to two years.
When the injuries fault were committed through driving a vehicle, a sentence of deprivation of the right to drive or to get the license in question by a term of one to three years shall be imposed when applicable.

When the injuries fault occurred as a result of the exercise of a profession or a medical or paramedical activity, a further penalty of disqualification for the exercise of that profession or activity, for a period of six months to two years, shall be imposed.

Article 147 - Attenuating Consent and Exemption of Consent
In the crimes of injury, when an act of intimidation alters the free, spontaneous and clearly expressed consent of the victim, the perpetrator shall be punished with imprisonment of six months to two years or a fine of thirty to sixty days of basic salaries. The agreement exempts from criminal liability in cases of donation of organ, organ transplants, sterilizations and transsexual surgery, performed under the Code of health or willingly. The consent given by a minor or a disable person for these purposes will not be valid, nor that the consent given by his legal representatives. However, the sterilization of incapacitated person who suffers severe mental deficiency, when authorized by the court or tribunal, at the request of the legal representative of the incapacitated, or a previous medical diagnosis, shall not be punished.

Original Spanish Version

CÓDIGO PENAL DE EL SALVADOR - Decreto Legislativo No. 1030 de 26 de abril de 1997. (Reformado)

Libro II - Parte Especial - Título II - Capítulo I - Lesiones

Artículo 142 - Lesiones
El que por cualquier medio, incluso por contagio, ocasionare a otro un daño en su salud, que menoscabe su integridad personal, hubiere producido incapacidad para atender las ocupaciones ordinarias o enfermedades por un período de cinco a veinte días, habiendo sido necesaria asistencia médica o quirúrgica será sancionado con prisión de uno a tres años.

Artículo 143 - Lesiones Graves
Las lesiones se consideran graves si producen incapacidad para atender las ocupaciones ordinarias o enfermedad por un período mayor de veinte días, habiendo sido necesaria asistencia médica o quirúrgica. En estos casos se impondrá la pena de prisión de tres a seis años.

Artículo 144 - Lesiones Muy Graves
La pena será de cuatro a ocho años de prisión si se produjere cualquiera de los resultados siguientes:
1) Grave deformidad física en el cuerpo;
2) Grave perturbación funcional permanente, pérdida de la función o pérdida anatómica de un órgano o miembro principal;
3) Grave perturbación psíquica; y,
4) Enfermedad que pusiere en grave peligro la salud de la persona.

Artículo 145 - Lesiones Agravadas
Si en los casos descritos en los artículos anteriores, concurriere alguna de las circunstancias del homicidio agravado, la sanción se aumentará hasta en una tercera parte de su máximo.

Artículo 146 - Lesiones Culposas
El que por culpa ocasionare a otro, lesiones, será sancionado con prisión de seis meses a dos años.
Cuando las lesiones culposas se cometieren mediante la conducción de un vehículo, se impondrá así mismo la pena de privación del derecho a conducir o de obtener la licencia respectiva por un término de uno a tres años, cuando ello sea requerido.

Cuando las lesiones culposas se produjeren como consecuencia del ejercicio de una profesión o actividad médica o paramédica, se impondrá, además, la pena de inhabilitación especial para el ejercicio de tal profesión o actividad por un término de seis meses a dos años.

Artículo 147 - Consentimiento Atenuante y Consentimiento Eximente
En los delitos de lesiones, si mediare consentimiento libre, espontáneo y expreso del ofendido, el hechor será sancionado con prisión de seis meses a dos años o multa de treinta a sesenta días multa. El consentimiento, exime de responsabilidad penal en los supuestos de donación o trasplantes de órganos, esterilizaciones y cirugía transexual, ejecutadas con arreglo al Código de Salud y por facultativo.

El consentimiento prestado por un menor de edad o un incapaz para estos efectos no será válido, como tampoco el que por él presten sus representantes legales. Sin embargo, no será punible la esterilización de persona incapaz que adolezca de grave deficiencia psíquica, cuando sea autorizada por el juez o tribunal, a petición del representante legal del incapaz, previo dictamen de facultativo

Discussion: 

Penal Code of El Salvador referred in Title II, Chapter I, of Book II the crimes of injuries, includes transmittable virus as a type that can cause injury to another person.

There is no specific mention of HIV, but the conducts described in the penal type are applicable to HIV transmission, unintentional or reckless transmission, and exposure to HIV.

For a discussion of HIV specific laws in Central America see the attached document from 2010  which mentions El Salvador.

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

Numbers of people living with HIV: www.unaids.org

Acknowledgement: We are grateful to Edgar Carrasco (ex-Director ACCSI-Human Rights Organization, Caracas-Venezuela) who provided most of the law references.

Asociación Atlacatl - Vivo Positivo

Other laws and policies with an impact on responses to HIV

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

El Salvador has repealed existing restrictions:
March 22, 2004: The General Direction of Migration and Alienage has repealed existing regulations requiring HIV testing for temporary and permanent residency permit applicants.

There are no regulations restricting entry or stay of people living with HIV and AIDS. No test results or medical certificates are required. HIV-infected people are not expelled. A diagnosed HIV-infection has no effect on residency status. Antiretroviral medication can be imported for personal use and for the duration of stay.

We have evidence that an HIV test has been required in the past when applying for a residency permit.

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