Tajikistan

Number of reported cases At least 9 How do we calculate the number of cases

Overview

Tajikistan’s HIV-specific law, Article 125 of the Criminal Code states “infection of another person with HIV by a person who knew that they had this virus is punishable by imprisonment for a term of two to five years, and intentional infection of two or more persons by imprisonment for a term of five to ten years”.

However, in December 2019 the Tajik parliament approved an amendment to article 142 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Tajikistan (“Debauchery”), stating that HIV transmission would now be considered a serious crime. Once enacted, individuals found guilty of “deliberately” infecting someone with HIV will face a more severe punishment – from 8 to 10 years in prison (increased from 2 to 5 years).

This is despite a recommendation to Tajikistan from the 71st Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to 40 (e) Decriminalise[s] HIV/AIDS transmission (article 125 of the Criminal Code) 

There have been at least nine reported cases since the law began to be actively enforced in 2018 – the media have regularly covered new cases, most involving female sex workers.

Laws

The Criminal Code of the Republic of Tajikistan dated May 21, 1998 No. 574 (as amended on June 20, 2019) - Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

HIV-specific criminal law (active)
Year enacted
1998
Relevant text of the law

Article 125. Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

1) The deliberate substitution of another person at risk of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus,

– shall be punishable by restraint of liberty for a term of up to three years or imprisonment for a term of up to two years.

2) Infection of another person with the human immunodeficiency virus by a person who knew that he had this disease,

– shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of two to five years.

3) The act provided for in the second part of this article, committed:

  1. a) in relation to two or more persons;
  2. b) in relation to a knowingly minor,

– shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of five to ten years.

 

The Criminal Code of the Republic of Tajikistan dated May 21, 1998 No. 574 (as amended on June 20, 2019) - Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

Sexually transmitted infection law (active)
Year enacted
1998
Relevant text of the law

Article 126. Infection with a venereal disease

1) Infecting another person with a venereal disease by a person who knew that he had this disease,

– shall be punishable by a fine in the amount of two hundred to five hundred indicators for calculations or correctional labor for a period of one year to two years.

2) The same act committed:

  1. a) in relation to two or more persons;
  2. b) in relation to a knowingly minor,

– shall be punishable by a fine in the amount of from five hundred to seven hundred indicators for settlements or by imprisonment for a term of up to two years.

Acknowledgements

Authors: Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS (EWNA)
Regional HIV criminalisation report that summarises the state of play regarding HIV criminalisation laws and known prosecutions in the EECA region.

This information was last reviewed in April 2020