Article 173 of the state Penal Code penalises anyone who knows they are living with a venereal disease or other serious illness and who “endangers the health” of another by sexual intercourse or other means, with penalties of three months to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of twenty to forty days, or in the case of incurable illnesses, six months to five years’ imprisonment. Hospital confinement is also possible during the infectious period.
Article 174 applies the same penalties to a woman who breastfeeds a child who she knows is living with a serious transmissible disease, who then subsequently breastfeeds another child.
Article 175 states that where transmission actually occurs in these two scenarios, the accused is liable for the sanctions under the relevant offences for causing harm.
Knowledge of the illness is said to be presumed where the person or child presents external injuries or manifestations of the illness.
In the case of partners and spouses an individual complaint is required.
Under Article 301, the offences of injury and murder are qualified and therefore subject to higher sentences where maliciously committed by “contagion”.
CÓDIGO PENAL PARA EL ESTADO DE ZACATECAS Última Reforma POG 26 de agosto de 2020 (Decreto 405)
TITLE FIVE OFFENCES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH
SINGLE CHAPTER ON THE RISK OF CONTAGION, THE SPREAD OF DISEASES AND THE COUNTERFEIT OR ADULTERATION OF FOOD OR MEDICINAL PRODUCTS
Amended Chapter POG 4 August 2012 (Decree 414)
Article 173: Shall be punished from three months to three years of imprisonment and from twenty to forty quotas, without prejudice to his confinement in a hospital for treatment until the end of the infectious period, anyone who, knowing that he/she is ill with a venereal disease or other serious illness in the infectious period, endangers the health of another, through sexual relations or other transmissible means. If the disease suffered is incurable, the penalty shall be six months to five years’ imprisonment. Amended article POG 4 August 2012 (Decree 414)
Article 174: The same sanctions as those indicated in the previous article shall be applied to a woman who, knowing that a child is suffering from a serious disease that is easily transmissible, breastfeeds the child and also breastfeeds one or more other children. Amended article POG 4 August 2012 (Decree 414)
Article 175: If the contagion were to take place in any of the cases of the two previous articles, the sanction corresponding to the resulting crime shall also be imposed. Knowledge of the illness shall be presumed when the agent or the breastfed child present easily appreciable injuries or external manifestations of the illness.
In the case of spouses or cohabitants, the action shall only be taken through a complaint by the offended party.
CHAPTER III COMMON RULES FOR THE OFFENCES OF BODILY HARM AND MURDER
Article 301.- It is understood that homicide and injuries are qualified:
…VII. When they are maliciously executed by poisoning, contagion, asphyxiation or narcotic; …
Our thanks to la Red Mexicana de Organizaciones contra la criminalización del VIH for their research assistance to confirm current relevant legislation.