Last updated on: 3 September 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

Whether Specific law enacted: 
Yes, 2005, Based on Model Law
Number of people prosecuted: 
Number of people convicted: 
Applicable law: 

Guinea is a model law country which introduced a version of the N' Djamena ‘model' law in July 2006.

Key wording in the law: 

In the law from Guinea, the basic crime of "wilful HIV transmission" arises out of both Article 35 (which makes transmission through sex or blood an offence) and the underlying definition in Article 1 of the term "wilful HIV transmission." The definition appears to include not only those circumstances in which the virus is actually transmitted through HIV-contaminated substances, but also any exposure to such substances regardless of the consequences. This definition also appears to impose criminal liability, for transmission and even for exposure, without regard to:

a) whether the person knew she or he had HIV or was aware of the risk of transmission;

b) the actual risk of transmission associated with the activity;

c) whether the PLHIV disclosed to the other person, or the other person was aware in some way of the HIV infection;

d) whether the person took any steps to reduce the risk of transmission (e.g., condom use, other safe practices, cleaning of drug injecting equipment); and

e) whether in the circumstances the PLHIV had control over the degree of risk (e.g., use by husband or partner of a condom).

The definition of "HIV transmission" in some laws (e.g. Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger) include mother-to-child transmission (MTCT): Certain definitions of "HIV transmission" refer explicitly to MTCT; others would appear to include MTCT as a form of transmission by way of blood. Because such definitions could be determinative in establishing the offence of "wilful HIV transmission," these laws appear to establish that MTCT is a criminal offence.

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 living with HIV and 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.

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required of travellers arriving from infected areas.

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Laws relating to same sex, sexual relations: 

Male to Male relationships: Not Legal

Punishments for male to male relationships: Imprisonment of 10 years or more

Female to Female Relationships: Not Legal

Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: No law

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Protective laws and policies for people living with HIV: