Article 123 of the Armenian Criminal Code, enacted in 2003 and revised in 2006, includes an HIV-specific criminal statute which criminalises both HIV exposure and transmission. HIV exposure is punished with a fine of 100–250 times the minimum wage, detention for up to two months, or imprisonment for up to one year. “Wilfully or self-confidently” transmitting HIV is punished with up to five years’ imprisonment, increased from one year in original 2003 law. This increases to between three to eight years if more than two individuals, a pregnant woman, or a child acquire HIV as a result.
By contrast, Article 124 which criminalises the transmission of other STIs, is punishable by a fine in the amount of two hundred to four hundred times minimal salaries or by imprisonment for the term of one to three months.
In 2018, a female sex worker was charged with alleged HIV transmission to seven men. Since then two other HIV cases have been initiated although the outcomes of all three are unknown.
In 2017 a draft amendment to the Criminal Code was proposed, in order to implement the process of legislative reforms and institutional developments aimed at protecting the rights of people living with HIV. This would define the responsibility for HIV transmission only when the person is informed about their HIV infection, acts deliberately and intentionally, and HIV is actually transmitted. Is unclear whether this amendment has been enacted.
Article 123, Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia: Infecting with HIV
Article 123. Infecting with HIV.
- Subjecting another person to the obvious danger of infection with HIV, is punished by a fine of up to one hundred up to two hundred fifty times the minimum wage or by detention for the term of up to two months, or imprisonment for the term of up to one year.
- Infecting another person with HIV intentionally or self-confidently, by another person who was aware of their HIV status, is punished with imprisonment for the term of up to 5 years.
- The committed actions envisaged in part 2 of this Article, which was committed:
1) in relation to 2 or more persons;
2) in relation to a minor,
3) in relation to a pregnant woman, are punished with imprisonment for the term of 3 to 8 years.
Article 124, Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia: Infecting with HIV
Infecting with Venereal or Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Infecting another person with venereal disease or other STDs by a person who knew about the disease is punishable by a fine in the amount of two hundred to four hundred times minimal salaries or by imprisonment for the term of one to three months.
The same action committed:
1) against two or more persons;
2) to a minor;
3) against an obviously pregnant woman
is punished with a fine in the amount of 300 to 500 times minimal salaries, or with imprisonment for the term of up to 2 years.