Last updated on: 7 July 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

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

CRIMINAL CODE OF HONDURAS (Decree No. 144-83) (1983) Unofficial translation

BOOK TWO - SPECIAL PART - TITLE V - Crimes Against Public Health

Article 180 - Intentional spread of dangerous illness

Article 184 - If result death

Article 186 - Violation of measure of heath authority

Key wording in the law: 

CRIMINAL CODE OF HONDURAS (Decree No. 144-83 September 26, 1983) Unofficial translation

BOOK II - SPECIAL PART - TITLE V - Crimes against Public Health

Intentional spread of dangerous illness

Article 180 - To anyone who intentionally spreads a dangerous illness or causes an epidemic through the spread of pathogens, will be imposed an imprisonment of three to six years.

If result death

Article 184 - If the crimes configured in the four preceding articles proves the death of any person liable to be punished with a sentence of simple homicide or of qualified homicide, depending on the circumstances recurring in the incident.

Violation of measure of heath authority

Article 186 - Shall be punished with imprisonment of six months to two years anyone who violates the measures provisioned by the health authority in order to prevent the introduction or spread of an epidemic, or of an animal epidemic that could affect humans. The penalty will be increased by a quarter when the offender is a public or health employee, doctor, dentist or pharmacist, or to exercise some of the auxiliary activities of these professions.

Original Spanish Version

CÓDIGO PENAL DE HONDURAS. (Decreto 144-83 de 26 de septiembre de 1983.

LIBRO II - PARTE ESPECIAL - TÍTULO V - Delitos contra La Salud Pública

Propagación de enfermedad peligrosa

Art. 180 - A quien dolosamente propagare una enfermedad peligrosa o causare una epidemia mediante la difusión de gérmenes patógenos, se impondrá reclusión de tres a seis años

Si resultare La muerte de alguna persona

Art. 184 - Si los delitos configurados en los cuatro artículos precedentes resultare la muerte de alguna persona, se sancionará al responsable con la pena de homicidio simple o la del homicidio calificado, según las circunstancias recurrentes en el hecho.

Violación de medidas de la autoridad de salud

Art. 186 - Será penado con reclusión de seis meses a dos años quien infrinja las medidas adoptadas por la autoridad sanitaria con el fin de impedir la introducción o propagación de una epidemia, o de una epizootia susceptible de afectar a los seres humanos. La pena se aumentará en una cuarta parte cuando el autor fuere funcionario o empleado de sanidad, médico, farmacéutico u odontólogo, o ejerciera algunas de las actividades auxiliares de estas profesiones.


As other codes, the Penal Code of Honduras penalizes the intentional transmission of any dangerous illness. The article 186 seems to criminalize the exposure if somebody violates the sanitary measures adopted by the health authority.

In this sense, by the article 32 of the specific HIV Law the HIV test is compulsory to legal marriage and when one of the spouses has any suspicion of the HIV infection of the other.

Also, if the Secretary of State determines practice the test, yet without permission of the person to who practice. The article 74 of the specific HIV Law, determines that people living with a person living with HIV should be inform their serologic condition to any other person with whom they have or will have sexual relations.

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

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

Fundación Llaves

Other laws and policies with an impact on responses to HIV

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

Honduras has the highest adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the region. Over 63,000 people in Honduras are living with HIV and/or AIDS. Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Honduras.

Travellers are required to carry evidence of yellow fever vaccination when arriving from infected countries.

For updated information, please go to: http://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