Tanzania, United Republic of

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African HIV criminalisation achievements and challenges highlighted at ICASA 2013

11 Dec 2013
The African continent has more countries with overly broad and vague HIV-specific laws relating to HIV non-disclosure, exposure and/or transmission than any other global region, nearly all of which have been enacted in the past decade. Although North America is … More

East Africa: Move Towards Common HIV/AIDS Law (IPS)

05 Dec 2009
Another excellent piece from the Inter Press Service News Agency, whose mission is to give voices to the voiceless. EAST AFRICA: Move Towards Common HIV/AIDS Law by Wambi Michael ARUSHA, Dec 4 (IPS) – All HIV-positive east Africans could soon … More

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Specific laws

Specific law enacted Yes


Specific law criminalising HIV non disclosure, exposure, or transmission: Yes

Prosecuted using non-HIV specific laws: No

Prosecuted using both specific and non specific laws: No

Is non-disclosure actionable: No

Is exposure actionable: No

Is transmission actionable: No


Applicable laws

HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act (2008)

Applicable key wording

47. Offences relating to spreading HIV
 Any person who willfully and intentionally transmits HIV to another person commits an offence, and upon conviction shall be liable to life imprisonment.

48. Offences relating to breach of safe practices HIV
 Any person who willfully breaches any provision relating to safe procedures and practices, commits an offence, and on conviction shall be liable to
 (a) in case of an individual, to a fine of not less than two hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term of not less than three months or both.
 (b) in the case of a health care facility, to a fine of not less than three million shillings.


From the information gathered, no one has yet been convicted for transmitting HIV.  The HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill (2007) which made provision for the existence of the crime, was this year enacted into the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act.

The punishment of ‘life imprisonment’ which alarmed activists at the Mexico conference (see media reports) has been maintained in the enacted provisions.

Actual transmission, rather than exposure to the virus is punishable.

From the scarcity of media reports, it appears that the enactment did not receive much media coverage.

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.  As a member of the SADC region, it remains to be seen what impact the ‘Model Law’ will have on the current Tanzanian legislative provisions.

Tanzania Media industry is significantly responsive to HIV and AIDS prevention and control. So far 18 media houses have developed and are impelementing HIV and AIDS policies. There are many articles on  HIV & AIDS but not specific to criminalisation issues.

Further reading

AIDS Portal Tanzania

An article in The Citizen (30/12/2008) discusses the HIV/AIDS act in Tanzania.

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

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017