Latvia

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Country overview

Latvia passed an HIV-specific law in 1998 that criminalises any unprotected sex by an HIV-positive individual, even with a partner who consents, knowing that the person has HIV.  Article 133 of the Criminal Code of Latvia criminalises both HIV exposure and transmission. For a person who knowingly commits infection of a person with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the applicable sentence is deprivation of liberty for a term not exceeding eight years. There is one report of prosecutions available.

Specific laws

Specific law enacted Yes

Paragraph 133 Infection with HIV Cabinet Regulation No. 7 of 5 January 1999 [registration of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS]. Cabinet regulation No. 628 of 4 November 2003 [restriction of the spread of HIV/AIDS and treatment]. Law on Sexual and Reproductive Health Law of 19 February 2002, as amended through 29 January 2004 [contains provisions on HIV/AIDS].

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

Prosecutions

Number of prosecutions 1

Convictions

Number of convictions 0

Laws

Applicable laws

1998 Criminal Law Code, paragraph no. 133 and paragraph no. 138(2)

Applicable key wording

Paragraph 133 Infection with HIV

For a person who knowingly commits infection of a person with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the applicable sentence is deprivation of liberty for a term not exceeding eight years.

Paragraph 138 (2)

1. If the non-appropriate or neglectful professional duties of medical staff has caused infection with HIV or has resulted in death, perpetrator is punished with imprisonment up to five years with taking away rights to cure up to five years.

Discussion

From the responses received, it appears there has been one person prosecuted for transmitting HIV in Latvia. This, however, did not lead to the conviction of the person involved. The person prosecuted was male and was in prison at the time of the offence. UNDP-Latvia gave the mode of transmissions as ‘blood analysis in the prison clinic’.

Transmission of other sexually transmitted infections is subject to prosecution under the same laws.

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017