Saudi Arabia

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


Saudi Arabia’s legal system is based on Sharia and religious teachings arising from the Quran, and there is no codified criminal law. As such, it is difficult to say whether there is any HIV criminalisation in the country, however there have been at least two cases which indicate that HIV transmission is prosecutable in Saudi Arabia.

In 2013, a case was reported which suggested that health officials who had been fired for allegedly transfusing blood which was found to be positive for HIV could face criminal charges if found to have done so intentionally. The 12-year-old girl who received the blood later tested positive for HIV. The outcome of the case is not known.

In 2014, two young men tested positive for HIV after allegedly having unprotected sex with ‘beggars’. Police then began a hunt for these women and intended to arrest any female beggars who had ‘illicit sex’. The outcome of the case is not known, but the approach by the police demonstrates the moralising attitude of law enforcement in Saudi Arabia.

This information was last reviewed in March 2024