Senegal has an HIV-specific law that has both protective and punitive provisions. The law is broad enough to allow for prosecutions for “deliberate” transmission to include possible exposure to HIV with no transmission alleged.
The law, however, provides a list of circumstances precluding criminal liability. No one can be prosecuted where: transmission or exposure results from mother-to-child transmission; an act that does not carry any significant risk; when the person living with HIV was not aware of their status; their partner had been informed; and/or when they condoms were used.
To our knowledge there have been two cases of HIV criminalisation reported in Senegal to date. The first was against a woman with an undetectable viral load, however the details of this case are not clear. The second involved a man living with HIV allegedly having sex multiple times with his partner without disclosing his status, for which he was arrested and prosecuted.
Law n° 2010-03 of 9 April 2010 on HIV AIDS
Article 36 – Sanctioning perpetrators of deliberate HIV transmission.
Any person who, knowing his or her positive HIV status and the modes of transmission of HIV, undertakes unprotected sexual intercourse with the intention of transmitting it to another person shall be punished by imprisonment for five to ten years and a fine of 2,000,000 to 5,000,000 CFA francs.
No one shall be prosecuted or tried under this law for HIV transmission, or for exposure to HI, when such transmission or exposure occurs in any of the following cases:
– HIV transmission from mother to child before birth, during delivery or during breastfeeding;
– an act that does not pose a significant risk of HIV transmission;
– the person living with HIV who does not know his or her positive HIV status at the time of the act;
– the person living with HIV has practiced safe sex, including condom use.
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