Last updated on: 3 May 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

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

Tonga Public Health Act 1992

Key wording in the law: 

notifiable diseases

Key Cases: 



Section 138 Diseases to be notified.

(1) The diseases listed in Schedule 4 shall be notified in accordance with this Part.includes HIV and AIDS as notifiable diseases.

Section 143 Duty of authorised officer.

On receipt of the notification of a case or suspected case of notifiable disease, the Director of Health shall require an authorised officer to take all steps to prevent the spread of the disease in conjunction with the medical officer. These measures may include provisions to:

(f) order the patient or contacts or carriers to be detained in hospital or isolated in a suitable place until the medical officer with the approval of the Director of Health is satisfied that there is no risk of the patient or any contact or carrier spreading the disease;

HIV and AIDS has been listed under Schedule 4  of the Tonga Public Health Act 1992, Section 128 Diseases to be notified. Consequently Section 143 Duty of authorised officer provides for isolation.

Other laws and policies with an impact on responses to HIV

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

No restrictions for short-term tourist stays.

Foreigners staying in the country for more than 6 months have to get tested. The residence permit is not granted in the case of a positive test result. 

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Laws relating to same sex, sexual relations: 

Male to Male relationships: Not legal

Punishments for male to male relationships:  Imprisonment of 10 years or more

Female to Female Relationships: Legal

Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: No law

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