Hungary

Number of reported cases At least 5 How do we calculate the number of cases

Overview

Hungary’s Criminal Code provides a maximum penalty of five years in prison for bodily harm that results in permanent disability or serious health impairment with up to three years in cases of negligence. Since 1994, Hungary has charged at least four men living with HIV for alleged transmission under this law, but were are aware of one case where the person was found guilty.

In addition, Hungary’s Healthcare Act of 1997 has some provisions that could apply to people living with HIV including mandatory disclosure of HIV status in healthcare settings and mandatory partner notification. However, there have been no prosecutions for not doing so.

Laws

Criminal Code

General criminal law (active)
Relevant text of the law

Act C of 2012

Bodily harm – Paragraph 164

(1) Any person who causes bodily harm to or injures the health of another person is guilty of battery.

(2) If the injury or illness caused by battery takes less than eight days to heal, the perpetrator is guilty of the misdemeanour of simple battery punishable by imprisonment not exceeding two years.

(3) If the injury or illness caused by battery takes more than eight days to heal, the perpetrator is guilty of the felony of aggravated battery punishable by imprisonment not exceeding three years.

(4) The penalty for a felony shall be imprisonment not exceeding three years if the simple battery is committed: a) with malice aforethought or with malicious motive; b) against a person incapable of self-defence or unable to express his will; or c) against a person whose ability to defend himself is diminished due to his old age or disability.

(5) The penalty shall be imprisonment between one to five years if the simple battery results in permanent disability or serious health impairment.

(6) The penalty shall be imprisonment between one to five years, if the aggravated battery is committed: a) with malice aforethought or with malicious motive; b) against a person incapable of self-defence or unable to express his will; c) against a person whose ability to defend himself is diminished due to his old age or disability; d) causing permanent disability or serious health impairment; e) with particular cruelty.

(7) Any person who engages in preparations for the criminal act referred to in Subsection (3) or (6) is guilty of a misdemeanour punishable by imprisonment not exceeding one year.

8) The penalty shall be imprisonment between two to eight years if the battery is life threatening or results in death.

(9) Any person who commits aggravated battery by way of negligence shall be punishable for misdemeanour by imprisonment: a) not exceeding one year in the case defined in Subsection (3); b) not exceeding three years in the cases defined in Paragraphs b)-c) of Subsection (6); 53 c) not exceeding five years in the case of causing a life-threatening injury.

(10) The perpetrator of the criminal offense defined in Subsection (2) shall only be prosecuted upon private motion.

The Healthcare Act of 1997 (Act CLIV.)

Public health law (active)
Relevant text of the law

The Healthcare Act of 1997 (Act CLIV.)

under the obligations of the patients part (Paragraph 26 (2)) states that: “If allowed by his state of health, a patient shall cooperate with the health care workers involved in his care according to his abilities and knowledge, as follows…

b) inform them of every detail in connection with his illness which may endanger the lives or physical safety of others, in particular, of any communicable diseases, and of illnesses and conditions disqualifying him from pursuing an occupation,

c) in the case of communicable diseases set forth in the relevant decree of the Minister of Health, name the persons from whom he may have contracted the communicable disease and whom he may have infected…

Acknowledgements

Our thanks to Ferenc Bagyinszky at AIDS Action Europe for his assistance in confirming the current relevant legislation.

This information was last reviewed in March 2020