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There is no HIV-specific criminal law in Rwanda, however, the law on prevention and punishment of gender-based violence, enacted in 2008, includes a provision that allows for a person to be prosecuted and sentenced to life imprisonment for “intentionally” transmitting a terminal disease sexually.

HJN is not aware of any reported cases of HIV criminalisation to date.


Law N°59/2008 on prevention and punishment of Gender-Based violence

Sexually transmitted infection law (active)
Year enacted
Relevant text of the law

Article 29: Penalty for intentionally transmitting a terminal disease

Any person guilty of intentionally transmitting a terminal disease by sexual way to someone else shall be liable to life imprisonment.


Report presenting the results of a survey on HIV criminalization in African countries where French is spoken, conducted from May to September 2017.
Authors: Stéphanie Claivaz-Loranger & Cécile Kazatchkine for the Canadian HIV Legal Network and HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE

This information was last reviewed in April 2020