United Arab Emirates

Last updated on: 14 January 2015

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

United Arab Emirates
Whether Specific law enacted: 
Number of people prosecuted: 
1 known
Number of people convicted: 
1 known
Applicable law: 

Prison blood case: threatening the employee and endangering prisoners’ lives.

Key Cases: 

Aids-infected inmate deliberately dripped blood into kettle

20-year-old cut his own wrist and dripped blood into tea in deliberate attempt to infect others  

Dubai: An inmate at Dubai Central Jail has been sentenced to an additional six months in jail for endangering the lives of 40 prisoners. The inmate, who has Aids, was accused of trying to mix his blood in tea meant for other inmates. 

The Dubai Court of First instance on Sunday also found the 20-year-old Emirati defendant, H.H., guilty of threatening a Bangladeshi prison worker, who was serving food to the 40 prisoners, in the August 2013 incident. Prosecutors had charged the defendant with threatening the employee and endangering prisoners’ lives.

The defendant was in solitary confinement, along with the 40 other prisoners, when the incident occurred.

The defendant entered a not guilty plea citing “illogical accusation”, but presiding judge Mohammad Jamal refused to accept it. “I did not put blood in the tea kettle. How on earth would I be able to threaten anyone while in a solitary cell?” the defendant said in court.

A jail warden testified that the defendant seized the food trolley and used the kettle’s lid to slit his wrist and squeeze his blood into the tea. The defendant was also accused of threatening to sprinkle his blood over the meals and the floor. According to the prosecution, the defendant told the prison worker that the prisoners will beat him if he did not leave the trolley.

“When I reached the defendant’s cell, he asked me to leave the trolley and call the jail wardens, or else the prisoners would beat me. He spoke loudly and looked serious ... I was scared and went to a warden. When I returned, I saw that he had pulled the trolley towards his cell and taken the meals inside. He was also squeezing blood from his injured wrist into the tea kettle. Then the warden asked me to leave,” the prison workers told prosecutors. 

The jail warden corroborated the worker’s story. “He threatened to sprinkle his blood all over the meals. He took the kettle cover and injured his left wrist. When I tried to calm him down, he threatened to kill himself. Then he put some blood inside a water bottle and threatened to sprinkle it on the floor. When I asked him what he wanted, he replied that he had an issue with one of the lieutenants. He also put blood in the tea,” he said. 

Sunday’s ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days. 

Source: Bassam Za’za’, Legal and Court Correspondent, Gulf News, 26 January 2014 http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/courts/aids-infected-inmate-deliberately-dripped-blood-into-kettle-1.1282462

Other laws and policies with an impact on responses to HIV

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

In principle, people living with HIV and AIDS are not allowed to enter or stay in the United Arab Emirates. All foreigners planning to work or reside in the UAE must be tested for HIV. Those found to be HIV positive will be immediately deported by the UAE authorities. HIV certificates issued by foreign medical authorities are not accepted.

There are no health checks at the border, no health certificates must be presented on entry. Short term stays are therefore possible, however not free of risk. It is not allowed to import antiretroviral medication for personal use.

For updated information, please go to: www.hivrestrictions.org

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: Not Legal

For updated information, please go to: http://ilga.org