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: 

Article 289 of Montenegrin Penal Code.

  • This is an HIV-specific law.
  • Both exposure and transmission are subject to prosecution.
  • Sentences range from a term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year through to 15 years imprisonment.
Key wording in the law: 

Official English Translation (supplied by the Institute of Public Health of Montenegro):

English - Criminal Law, Article 289:

1. Anyone who knowingly brings another into danger of being infected by HIV virus, shall be liable to imprisonment for a maximum term not exceeding two years.

2. Anyone who knowingly fails to observe regulations and measures pertaining to preventing the spreading of HIV infection and thereby out of negligence brings about transmission of HIV virus infection to another, shall be liable to imprisonment of one year to five years.

3. Anyone who, knowing that s/he is infected by HIV virus, consciously transmits the infection to another, shall be liable to imprisonment of two to twelve years.

4. If as a result of an act referred to in Paragraph 3 of this Article, the infected person dies, the perpetrator shall be liable to imprisonment of five to fifteen years.

5. If an act as of Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Article is done out of negligence, the perpetrator shall be punished for an act referred to in Paragraph 3 by imprisonment for a maximum term not exceeding three years and for an act referred to in Paragraph 4 by imprisonment of six months to five years. The original Montenegrin version of the above law is available for download in Portable Document Format (PDF).


From the responses received it would appear that due to the small number of people who are officially registered as living with HIV/AIDS in Montenegro (71 in total) there are no known prosecutions/convictions for exposure to or transmission of HIV.

The higher estimate of 530 people living with HIV comes from the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS.  This significant disparity reflects the fact that 87% of the infected population is not aware of their HIV positive status nor will they be aware of the fact that they, potentially, pose the greatest risk of transmitting the virus further into the wider population.

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

Montenegrin Association Against AIDS - CAZAS, Podgorica, Montenegro.

Institute of Public Health, Podgorica, Montenegro. 

Further reading: 

The Montenegrin Association Against AIDS (CAZAS) does have a website in both Montenegrin and English language versions available at:

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 living with HIV/AIDS. There are no specific legal regulations concerning people living 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. 

Antiretroviral medication can be carried for personal use (quantities according to duration of stay). Medication should remain in original packaging. It is recommended to carry a prescription, if possible translated to Serbian language. 

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

Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: No law

For updated information, please go to: