Portugal

Number of reported cases At least 2 How do we calculate the number of cases

Overview

Portugal does not have an HIV-specific offence although the Penal Code does include a law that criminalises the propagation of infectious disease which may be applicable. Another law provides for sentence enhancement of one third if an accused is found to have an STI which is increased to one half if HIV or viral hepatitis is transmitted.

The original European Criminalisation Scan undertaken by GNP+ and THT in 2004, found that a search of the databases of the Supreme and High Courts revealed that two cases related to HIV transmission through injecting drug use had been heard by the courts,  although the outcome of these cases is unknown.  HJN is not aware of any more recent HIV criminalisation cases.

Laws

Crimes of common danger: Article 283: Disease spread

Communicable disease law (active)
Year enacted
2007
Relevant text of the law

Decree Law No. 48/95, of 15 March, as amended by Law No. 59/2007 (Penal Code)

Chapter III – Crimes of common danger

Article 283

Disease spread, change of analysis or prescription

1 – Who:

  1. a) Propagate contagious disease;

 

and thereby create danger to the life or serious danger to the physical integrity of another is punished with imprisonment from 1 to 8 years.

 

2-If the danger referred to in the preceding paragraph is created by

negligence, the agent is punished with imprisonment for up to 5 years.

 

3 – If the conduct referred to in paragraph 1 is committed through negligence, the agent is punished with imprisonment for up to 3 years or with a fine.

Article 177 (Aggravation)

Other law (active)
Year enacted
2007
Relevant text of the law

Decree Law No. 48/95, of 15 March, as amended by Law No. 59/2007 (Penal Code)

Section III – Common Dispositions

Article 177 (Aggravation)

2 – The penalties provided for in articles 163 to 167 and 172 to 175 shall be aggravated by one third, within their minimum and maximum limits, if the offender has sexually transmitted disease, namely venereal or syphilitic disease.

3 – The penalties provided for in articles 163 to 168 and 172 to 175 shall be aggravated by half, in their minimum and maximum limits, if the behavior described therein results in pregnancy, offense to severe physical integrity, transmission of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome virus or forms of hepatitis that endanger the life, suicide or death of the victim.

Further resources

A rapid scan of the laws and rates of prosecution for HIV transmission within signatory States of the European Convention of Human Rights.

This information was last reviewed in April 2020