Togo adopted its first HIV-specific law in 2005 based on the N’djamena Model Law. The N’Djamena Model Law was intended to protect persons with HIV from discrimination, but also makes it a crime to “intentionally” transmit or expose another person to HIV. This law is poorly worded, overly broad and vague. For further analysis see Criminalizing HIV transmission or exposure: the context of francophone West and Central Africa
The law was subsequently replaced in 2010 with a new “wilful” transmission law that added a number of defences including condom use, or disclosure and required intent to harm to be proven for a person to be found guilty of deliberate transmission.
Although we are aware of a number of reports to the police, none are believed have led to a prosecution.
Act No. 2010-018, amending Act No. 2005-012 of 14 December 2005 on the protection of persons with regard to HIV/AIDS
Article 61 – A person is guilty of an act of wilful transmission of HIV if he or she:
– knowing that he/she is infected, will have knowingly transmitted HIV to another person;
– knowing that the objects she/he uses are contaminated by HIV, will have used said objects on physical persons;
– has deliberately inoculated HIV-infected substances into another person;
– knowing that the blood offered for transfusion, tissue or organ donated for transplantation is infected with HIV, will have transfused blood or transplanted tissue or organ onto a person.
A person living with HIV will not be prosecuted for an act of wilful transmission under this or any other law if:
– he/she has taken measures to significantly reduce the risk of transmission, including through condom use;
– he/she has informed his/her sexual partner of his/her HIV status and has obtained free and informed consent before the act involving a real risk of transmission, notwithstanding the general principles of criminal law.
Nations throughout the world are increasingly criminalizing HIV transmission or exposure. This trend, already very familiar to high-income countries such as Canada, the United States of America and some European nations, takes on a special meaning in Africa, where several national HIV/AIDS laws make HIV transmission or exposure a crime.
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