Last updated on: 27 May 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

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

A specific law is currently being developed. It only exists in draft version.

The Criminal Code and the Public Health Act provide provisions to make the wilfull transmission of disease an offence. HIV may then fall in the category of diseases.

Key wording in the law: 

Only draft version at the moment.


The Act has being reviewed and validated by CSOs, the public and private sector, and most recently by the members of the Gambian National Assembly.

It was also forwarded to UNAIDS country and regional offices in Banjul and Dakar for their inputs.

The draft document placed a lot focus on gender and other cross-cutting issues such as poverty etc.

High risk groups such as sex-workers, long distance truck drivers and MSM were also catered for in the draft document.

A cabinet paper will be prepared and present to the Cabinet for their endorsement and finally sent to the National Assembly for promulgation.

A few cases are reported of MSM being arrested and charged but later on the charges where dropped. Sexworkers are frequently arrested and released but not really prosecuted.

These specific cases have no link with the individuals' HIV status.

UNAIDS is currently undertaking a study on the related stigma and discrimination and the finding of this study will help document the existence of the various form of stigma and discrimination manifested in the Gambia. This report will be shared once finalized. Also, UNAIDS is currently supporting the development of a model law on AIDS and this process is at an advanced stage.

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

UNAIDS Country Office

Nuha Ceesy

Cape point

The Gambia

(+220) 7799991


Ahmed Jeagan Loum


The Gambia

(+220) 9900254 /


Alieu Jammeh


Lum Jeagan


Fatima Gaye

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 with HIV/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.

To enter the Gambia, the following vaccinations are mandatory: yellow fever, cholera and meningitis.

Antiretroviral medication can be carried for personal use.

For updated information, please go to:

Laws relating to same sex, sexual relations: 

Male to Male relationships: Not Legal

Female to Female Relationships: Not Legal

Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: No law

For updated information, please go to:

Protective laws and policies for people living with HIV: