Uzbekistan

Number of reported cases At least 4 How do we calculate the number of cases

Overview

Article. 113 of Uzbekistan’s Criminal Code, covering the spread of STIs and HIV, provides for higher penalties for people with HIV who “deliberately” expose or transmit the virus compared to other STIs. HIV exposure/transmission can be punished by 5-8 years in jail compared with 3-5 years for other STIs.

In the context of Article 113, “deliberately” only means that the person was aware of their HIV status and placed another person at any risk of potential transmission, regardless of the actual risk. There is no defence for disclosure leading to informed consent.

In 2010, after 147 children contracted HIV in Namangan, a case involving 13 doctors and health care providers prompted the government to add an amendment that also makes health care practitioners criminally liable for negligent HIV transmission. The new law specifies criminal liability “as a result of non-fulfillment or negligence of professional duties”. This includes failing to keep instruments sterile, and failure to follow proper procedures for medical procedures, including blood transfusion.

To date, there have been at least four HIV criminalisation cases, two of which were against health professionals for medical negligence leading to HIV transmission. In the most recent case, which relates to HIV during sex, a young man was charged with ‘knowingly putting a person at risk of HIV infection’ despite the fact that his partner had been aware of his HIV status, HIV was not transmitted, and she did not want him prosecuted. The couple are now married with a child. The accused was given a suspended sentence, however, the man was then vilified in the press after media erroneously reported he had transmitted HIV.

Laws

Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan - Section 113. Spread of Sexually Transmitted Disease or HIV / AIDS

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

Section 113. Spread of Sexually Transmitted Disease or HIV / AIDS

(Title of Article 113 as amended by the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated May 24, 2010 No. ЗРУ-248 – СЗ РУ, 2010, No. 21, Article 161)

  1. The deliberate putting another person in danger of contracting a sexually transmitted disease –

shall be punishable by a fine of up to twenty-five times the minimum wage, or by compulsory community service for up to two hundred and forty hours, or correctional labour, up to one year.

  1. Infection of another person with a venereal disease by a person who knew that he had this disease, –

shall be punishable by compulsory community service from three hundred sixty to four hundred eighty hours or by restriction of liberty from three to five years or by imprisonment from three to five years.

The actions provided for by the first or second parts of this article, committed in relation to:

  1. a) two or more persons;
  2. b) a minor, –

shall be punishable by compulsory community service from three hundred sixty to four hundred eighty hours or by restriction of liberty from three to five years or by imprisonment from three to five years.

  1. Deliberately endangering another person or infecting them with HIV /AIDS – is punished by imprisonment from five to eight years.
  2. Infection of another person with HIV / AIDS as a result of non-fulfillment or improper fulfillment by a person of his professional duties –

shall be punishable by a fine from one hundred to two hundred minimum wages or by compulsory community service from three hundred sixty to four hundred eighty hours or by corrective labour up to two years or by restriction of liberty from two to five years or by imprisonment up to five 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 June 2020