Romania passed an HIV-specific criminal law in 2014 that punishes attempted (i.e. ‘HIV exposure’) or alleged HIV transmission “by any means” with imprisonment of 3-10 years for someone who is living with HIV, and 5-12 years for someone who is not themselves living with HIV. These sentences are increased to 7-15 years if the transmission results in death. Lower sentences are incurred in cases of negligence or recklessness. In contrast, transmission of other STIs can result in a fine and/or a prison sentence ranging between six months and three years.
We are aware of at least seven HIV cases in Romania. The first known case in 2012 resulted in a 14-year sentence for alleged intentional HIV transmission. In the most recent case in 2022, a man living with HIV allegedly bit a police officer during an arrest and was sentence to three years’ imprisonment.
Transmission of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
(1) The transmission, by any means, of HIV by a person who knows that she/he suffers from this disease is punished by imprisonment from 3 to 10 years.
(2) The transmission, by any means, of HIV by a person other than the one provided in par. (1) is punished by imprisonment from 5 to 12 years.
(3) If by the facts provided in par. (1) and para. (2) the death of the victim occurred, the punishment is imprisonment from 7 to 15 years.
(4) When the deed provided in par. (2) was committed, the punishment is the imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years, and if it caused the death of the victim, the punishment is the imprisonment from 2 to 7 years.
(5) Attempt to the offenses provided in par. (1) and para. (2) shall be punished.
The transmission of a venereal disease, by sexual intercourse or other sexual acts, by a person who knows that he suffers from such a disease, is punished by imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years or with a fine.
Our thanks to Nicoleta Dascalu at ARAS for her research assistance in confirming current relevant legislation.