Armenia

Number of reported cases At least 3 How do we calculate the number of cases

Overview

Armenia criminalises HIV transmission through HIV-specific provisions in the Criminal Code, which was updated in 2021 to replace the 2006 Code. Prior to new Criminal Code entering into force in July 2021, Armenian law also criminalised perceived ‘exposure’ to HIV, but following amendment only actual transmission is covered by the law.

Article 177 of the 2021 Code criminalises anyone who transmits HIV to another with a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment. Where transmitted to a pregnant woman, the ‘helpless’ (sic), or a minor, the penalty is increased to four to eight years’ imprisonment.

Further, Article 178 criminalises careless infection of HIV to another with a penalty of up to three years’ imprisonment. The penalty is increased to two to five years’ imprisonment where HIV is carelessly transmitted to the same categories of person identified in Article 177.

As with the 2006 Code, the penalties for transmission of HIV are significantly higher than those imposed for the transmission of other sexually transmitted infections (under Articles 179 and 180).

There are some reports of criminal cases being investigated under the 2006 Criminal Code. In 2018, a female sex worker was charged with alleged HIV transmission to seven men while receiving treatment for HIV.  In 2019, a criminal investigation was launched after a child tested positive for HIV, while both parents tested negative. Both cases were investigated under Article 123 of the 2006 Code, however the outcome of these cases are not known.

Laws

Article 177 & 178 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia

HIV-specific criminal law (active)
Year enacted
2021
Relevant text of the law

Article 177. Infection of a person with human immunodeficiency virus

1. Infecting another person with the human immunodeficiency virus is punished with imprisonment of up to 5 years.

2. The committed action envisaged in part 1 of this Article, which was committed:

1)  in relation to a pregnant woman

2) to the helpless or

3) in relation to a minor

is punished with imprisonment from 4-8 years.

 

Article 178. Careless infection of a person with human immunodeficiency virus

Infecting another person with the human immunodeficiency virus with criminal self-confidence is punished with imprisonment of up to 3 years.

The committed action envisaged in part 1 of this Article, which was committed:

1)  in relation to a pregnant woman

2) to the helpless or

3) in relation to a minor

is punished with imprisonment from 2-5 years.

Article 123, Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia: Infecting with HIV

HIV-specific criminal law (superseded)
Year enacted
2006
Relevant text of the law

Article 123. Infecting with HIV.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

This information was last reviewed in June 2020