Solomon Islands

Last updated on: 3 May 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

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

Penal Code, Chapter 26

Key wording in the law: 

Grievous harm

Key Cases: 



Penal Code (s 224) Acts intended to cause grievous harm or prevent arrest-

Any person who, with intent to maim, disfigure or disable any person, or to do some grievous harm to any person, or to resist or prevent the lawful arrest or detention of any person-

(a) unlawfully wounds or does any grievous harm to any person by any means whatever; or

(f) causes any such substance or thing to be taken or received by any person; or

(g) unlawfully casts or throws any such fluid or substance at or upon any person, or otherwise applies any such fluid or substance to the person of any person,

is guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for life.

This law stipulates that any person found guilty of unlawfully causing grievous bodily harm to another person; causes any such substance or thing to be taken or received by any person or unlawfully applies any such fluid on a person is guilty of a felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for life.

The assult offences under the Penal Code provide sufficient law for an offence of transmission of a transmissible infection to be prosecuted. However to our knowledge, there have been no prosecutions or convictions for the transmission of HIV occuring under this law so the application of the law to HIV transmission is, at present, merely theoretical.

The Public Health Act 1978 (Cap 99) does not include specific HIV/AIDS provisions, though there are provisions on venereal disease and notifiable diseases. It also authorises doctors and health workers to do what is appropriate for the patient and the public interest[1].

According to the Commission on AIDS in the Pacific report[2], the Environmental Health (Public Health Act) Regulations do not include HIV and AIDS as notifiable diseases, but this is subject to amendment by the Minister of Health by notice. The Public Health Act provides for isolation of infectious diseases.

[2]Commission on AIDS in the Pacific (2009), ‘Turning the tide: an open strategy for a response to AIDS in the Pacific. Report of the Commission on AIDS in the Pacific’, UNAIDS, annex 4.

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

Pacific Island AIDS Foundation

Further reading: 

Colvin E (2002). Criminal responsibility under the South Pacific codes:

Other laws and policies with an impact on responses to HIV

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

Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Solomon Islands. According to the Solomon Islands Immigration Act Cap 60, Section 4 (1) (d) and section 11, subsection (2), an immigration officer can bar a visitor from entering the country or deport an immigrant if he or she refuses to submit to an examination by a government medical officer after being required to do so.

Border officers may require a medical certificate. HIV test required for stays over 90 days.

Medical facilities are limited. Serious injuries and illnesses may require medical evacuation to Australia or New Zealand. Emergency evacuations may cost tens of thousands of dollars or more. Travel insurance that includes evacuation services is a necessity.

For updated information, please go to:

Laws relating to same sex, sexual relations: 

Male to Male relationships: Not Legal

Punishments for male to male relationships: Imprisonment of less than 10 years

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: