Last updated on: 6 July 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

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

Articles 135, 137 and 277 in the Penal Code of Lithuanian Republic

This is not an HIV-specific law.

Only actual transmission appears to be subject to prosecution.

Sentences range from a fine through to 12 years imprisonment. 

Key wording in the law: 

Unofficial English Translation

Article 135

  • A person, who injured or made ill, where their victim lost sight, speech, fertility, pregnancy or was otherwise seriously disabled, acquired incurable disease or a long-lasting disease, which is life-threatening or severely disordering the human mind, or lost much of their professional or general efficiency, or where the victim’s body was deformed beyond repair, is punished by imprisonment for up to ten years.
  • A person, who severely injured or made ill a minor, a helpless person, their own mother, father or child, pregnant woman, two or more people, with torture or otherwise cruelly, by a life-threatening way, because of recklessness, because of selfishness, because of the victim’s service or citizen duties, trying to conceal an other crime, trying to get an organ or tissue of a victim for transplantation purpose, is punished by imprisonment from two to twelve years.

Article 137. Severe health injury because of carelessness.


  • A person, who has severely injured or made ill another person because of carelessness, is punished by detention or imprisonment for up to three years.
  • A person, who has severely injured or made ill two or more people because of carelessness is punished by imrisonment for up to five years.
  • A person, who has performed the actions foreseen in parts 1 or 2 above by violating and special rules of safe behaviour vested in legislative acts, is punished by imprisonment for up to seven years.
  • A legal entity is also responsible for actions foreseen in the part 3 of the present article.

Article 277. Violation of the rules of fighting epidemics or communicable diseases.

  • A person, who has violated healthcare requirements or the rules of prevention and control of communicable diseases, stated in the legislative acts, and a disease has spread or epidemic occurred because of that, is punished by fine, detention or imprisonment for up to three years.
  • A person, who, being informed by a medical institution about his disease or cautioned about means of protection he must take while communicating with other people, puts into danger another person or infects with threatening infectious diseases, committs a crime and is punished by public work or fine, deprivation detention or imprisonment.
  • A person pays the penalty according to this article in the cases when actions foreseen in this article are performed because of carelessness.
  • A legal entity is also responsible for actions foreseen in the part 1 of the present article.

From the responses received, it appears that no prosecutions for the transmission of HIV (or exposure to it) have ever taken place in Lithuania.  Consequently, there are no known convictions either.

The Lithuanian AIDS Center has previously reported that it was aware of an attempt by some inmates in a correctional facility (prisoners) to have the prison’s health care service and state prosecuted for those infected with HIV while in prison.  That attempt to prosecute did not succeed.

Transmission of other sexually transmitted infections is subject to prosecution under the same laws. HIV is listed alongside syphilis, HVG and gonorrhea under the Law of Prevention and Control of Human Communicable Diseases as being ‘dangerous’ and ‘especially dangerous’ communicable diseases.

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 


Prosecutor General's Office, Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Lithuanian AIDS Centre.

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 regulations regarding the entry or short term stays of people with HIV/AIDS. Neither a medical certificate nor an HIV test result is required when entering Lithuania.

Foreigners with a known HIV infection or who develop AIDS are not subject to specific residence regulations. There are no regulations regarding the control, deportation or expulsion of those concerned.

It is possible to import antiretroviral medication for personal use. Five units can be imported without prescription. Six to nine units require a prescription; larger doses require a medical certificate, stating that the carried amount of drugs is needed to treat an existing condition of the carrier.

Residency permit applicants are obliged to declare conditions which may pose a threat to public health. HIV and AIDS are not a condition considered to be a threat to public health in Lithuania. HIV positive people are advised not to indicate that they have a public health threatening disease while filling in applications for residency in order to circumvent possible problems.

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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

Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: No law

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