Uzbekistan

Last updated on: 6 July 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

Uzbekistan
Whether Specific law enacted: 
Yes
Number of people prosecuted: 
-
Number of people convicted: 
-
Applicable law: 

Article 113 of the Criminal Code: Transmission of a venereal disease. (introduced July 2001)

 

  • This is an HIV-specific law.
  • This appears to allow for the prosecution of both exposure and transmission.
  • The maximum possible sentence is eight years imprisonment.
Key wording in the law: 

English Translation:

Article 113 of the Criminal Code:

Transmission of a venereal disease:

  1. Knowingly posing the threat of transmitting venereal disease to another person, shall be punished by a fine up to twenty-five minimum monthly wages (one MMW is currently as of January 2009 about 20 USD) or correctional labor for up to one year.
  2. Infecting another person with a venereal disease by a person, who knew that s/he had this disease, shall be punished by up to six months of arrest or imprisonment for up to three years.
  3. Actions envisaged by parts 1 and 2 of this article, committed in respect of: (a) two or more persons; or (b) a child, shall be punished by three to five years of imprisonment.
  4. Knowingly posing the threat of infecting, or infecting with AIDS another person, shall be punished by five to eight years of imprisonment.

Full text of the law in Russian can be found on this website.

Discussion: 

There is no public/easy access to case law within the country so numbers of people prosecuted - or indeed whether prosecutions which have taken place - is not obtainable.

Our correspondent notes, as is the case in many other countries :

In relation to the control of HIV/AIDS and the civil rights of people living with HIV the law is used disproportionately against specific groups, noting that:

  • Drug users are most prosecuted for crimes related to illegal operations with drugs (everything except for use, which, at the end of the day, may become the ground for a criminal case);
  • Sex workers seem to be the main target of the criminal code article on HIV and STD transmission. Commercial sex work is not a crime, but an "administrative" (petty) offence. Therefore, police usually takes CSW (commercial sex worker)  first to STD dispensary, and then decides on further action; a fine, criminal charges or a bribe;
  • MSM are most vulnerable in light of an archaic article 120 of the Criminal Code, which reads: "Besakalbazlik, i.e. sexual intercourse of a man with a man, without use of violence (i.e. voluntarily), - shall be punished by imprisonment for up to three years. According to officials, nobody has been prosecuted so far, but presence of this article may (and allegedly does) result in abuse by police.
Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

We have been asked not to disclose the organisation and individuals who responded to our questionnaire and enquiries. We have no official sources of information for this country.

Other laws and policies with an impact on responses to HIV

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

Our information is contradictory

No restrictions for tourist stays up to 3 months.

Uzbek law requires that visitors carry a medical certificate attesting that they are not infected with HIV and that visitors staying more than 15 days be tested. However, this requirement is rarely enforced except in cases of long-term visitors on work permits. An HIV certificate has to be presented for stays exceeding 3 months. There are fewer checks at entry by land than at airports (checks are sporadic).

According to the existing legal regulations, foreign nationals entering Uzbekistan are required to present an HIV test certificate if they intend to stay for more than 3 months. The testing is performed at the airport on entry. At the overland entry points, controls are performed in isolated cases only. However, it can not be excluded that persons staying in the country must present these documents.

All foreigners will be expelled immediately if an HIV infection or an AIDS-related illness is diagnosed. The reason given by the Foreign Office of Uzbekistan is the fact that there is only one clinic specialised in HIV/AIDS in Uzbekistan and moreover this facility lacks the experience, medication and equipment to treat foreign nationals.

Law on prophylaxis of disease, evoked by Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Excerpt:

  • Art. 6: People infected with HIV have to be monitored. According to the legal situation, foreigners or stateless people with a diagnosed HIV infection with residence in Uzbekistan can be expelled.
  • Art. 12 (Entry regulations): Embassies and consulates of the Republic Uzbekistan will grant visas only on presentation of a certificate stating the absence of HIV infection as stipulated by the law.

For the latest 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 less than 10 years

Female to Female Relationships: Legal

Age of consent:  Equal for heterosexuals and homosexuals

Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: No law

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