Number of reported cases At least 15 How do we calculate the number of cases
First reported case 2017


Under Article 158 of the Penal Code, anyone who has a sexually transmitted infection or other serious disease and who maliciously puts another at “risk of infection” will be imprisoned for six months to five years and fined up to fifty days’ wages.

However, a 2018 Supreme Court ruling found the inclusion of the term ‘sexually transmitted infection’ unconstitutional, stating that ‘other serious disease’ was sufficient for the purposes of this provision. To date, the Veracruz state Congress has not enacted reform of this provision in line with the 2018 ruling.

Article 144 treats injuries and murder as qualified, meaning they are subject to enhanced sentencing, when committed by deliberate contagion of an incurable disease.

The 2017 report by the Mexican Network Against the Criminalisation of HIV suggested that there had been fifteen HIV criminal cases in Veracruz.


Código Penal para el Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz

General criminal law (active)
Relevant text of the law


Article 158.- Whoever suffers from sexually transmitted infections or other * serious diseases and fraudulently puts another person in danger of contagion, will be imposed from six months to five years in prison and a fine of up to fifty days’ salary. The judge will order what is necessary for the protection of public health. *

Editor’s Note: The Full Court of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation declared the invalidity of this normative portion, in the Sentence of Action of Unconstitutionality 139/2015, notified to the State Congress on June 4, 2018 and published in the Official State Gazette on June 28, 2018.


Article 144.– The homicide and the injuries will have the character of qualified when they are committed: …..VI. By intentional contagion of an incurable disease.

Further resources

Ante los hechos, el 16 de febrero de 2016, la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH), respondió a la petición del Grupo Multisectorial en VIH/sida e ITS del estado de Veracruz y otras organizaciones de la sociedad civil, e interpuso una acción de inconstitucionalidad en contra de la reforma en la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación.
Como resultado de la promoción de la Acción de Inconstitucionalidad, el pleno de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación determinó que la modificación al artículo 158 del Código Penal del Estado de Veracruz era inconstitucional por lo que tenía que ser derogada.
Author: Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación

The plenary session of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation determined that the amendment to article 158 of the Penal Code of the State of Veracruz was unconstitutional and therefore had to be repealed.


Our thanks to la Red Mexicana de Organizaciones contra la criminalización del VIH for their research assistance to confirm current relevant legislation.

This information was last reviewed in January 2021