Last updated on: 27 April 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

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

Penal Code, Chapter 17.

Government of Fiji. HIV/AIDS Decree 2011.

Key wording in the law: 

Penal Code, Chapter 17: Grievous harm, negligent act.

Government of Fiji. HIV/AIDS Decree 2011. Deliberate or attempted infection


Penal Code (s 193) Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life - Any person who unlawfully or negligently does any which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangeorus to life, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

Penal Code (s 277) Grievous harm - Any person who unlawfully and maliciously does grievous harm to another is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprsonment for seven years, with or without corporal punishment.

Government of Fiji. HIV/AIDS Decree 2011. Deliberate or attempted infection

Section 40 (1). The deliberate or attempted infection of a person by a person who knows he or she carries HIV is an offence under this Decree.

(2). Where a person who knows he or she carries HIV virus acts in amanner which in the opinion of the Permanent Secretary may on the balance of probabilities transmit HIV to another person or persons the Permanent Secretary may seek an ex-parte injunction requiring the person to cease and desist from such behaviour.

(3). A failure by the person to cease and desist from such behaviour as in subsection (2) the person shall be liable for imprisonment for a term not less than 14 days and not more than 6 months.

The law was likely inspired by a 2008 case that created moral panic and highlighted lack of legislation.

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

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

Fiji Network of Positive People (FJN+) (no website)

Pacific Island AIDS Foundation:

Further reading: 

Colvin E (2002). Criminal responsibility under the South Pacific codes:

Other laws and policies with an impact on responses to HIV

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

HIV testing required for persons staying longer than 6 months.

Proof of yellow fever immunisation is required for those arriving from infected areas.

For updated information, please go to:

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:

Protective laws and policies for people living with HIV: