Swaziland

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Africa’s HIV transmission laws based on questionable science

31 Aug 2007
Africa’s HIV transmission laws based on questionable scienceby Cassandra Willyard, New York Nature Medicine 13, 890 (2007)Published online: 31 August 2007 Faced with an AIDS epidemic that kills millions every year, countries in sub-Saharan Africa are contemplating a new prevention … More

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Laws

Applicable laws

There is no specific law on HIV transmission.
However, there are reports of provisions in the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill for aggravated punishment for convicted rapists who are HIV –positive.

Applicable key wording

not available.

Discussion

From the information gathered, Swaziland has no legal provisions to prosecute people for exposing others to or infecting others with HIV.  However there are reports that the proposed Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill will have provision for aggravated punishment for convicted rapists who are HIV – positive.
From a report by Amnesty International, punishments proposed include death sentences for rapists who are HIV positive. (see link to Amnesty report below)
According to media reports, a rising incidence of rape in Swaziland, coupled with high levels of HIV-infection, is fuelling a national debate on what punishment should be meted out to rapists, especially if the victims of sex crimes become infected with the disease.
An article in IRIN News reports that AIDS activists call for strong measures in case of infection through rape. (www.irinnews.org)
As a member of the SADC region, it remains to be seen what impact the SADC ‘Model Law’ will have on the current legislative provisions:
To provide specific guidance to Members of Parliament, Ministers, of SADC countries on the complex process of HIV legisla¬tion, the SADC Parliamentary Forum, a consultative and advisory intergovernmental organization of national Parliaments in SADC countries, with the technical assistance of the AIDS and Human Rights Research Unit and the involvement of vari¬ous stakeholders and regional civil society groups, has developed a model law on HIV to serve that purpose. The Model Law integrates the protection of human rights as a key element of an effective response to HIV.  The Model Law has no provisions allowing criminalisation.

Further reading

Memorandum to the Government of Swaziland on the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill by Amnesty International.
AIDS Portal for Swaziland

Latest cases and news can be found at: http://www.hivjustice.net/country/sz/

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017