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There are no HIV-specific criminal provisions in Venezuela and no known instances of general criminal provisions being used against those living with HIV.

The most relevant provisions which could potentially be used to criminalise HIV transmission are those prohibiting the infliction of personal injury, contained within Chapter II of the Criminal Code.

For instance, Article 413 penalises anyone who inflicts physical suffering or health damage with the intention of causing harm, which carries a penalty of imprisonment for three to twelve months. Similarly, Article 414 states that anyone who causes an incurable mental or bodily illness is liable for imprisonment for three to six years.

Article 420 prohibits professional negligence or recklessness which results in harm with a penalty of one to twelve months’ imprisonment or a fine.

In 2014 a new law protecting those living with HIV was passed, but this law does not include any criminalising provisions.

There are no known cases of HIV criminalisation in Venezuela.


CRIMINAL CODE (Special Official Gazette No. 5,768, dated April 13, 2005)

General criminal law (active)
Relevant text of the law


Crimes Against People


Personal injuries

Article 413.- Anyone who, without the intention of killing, but of causing harm, has caused physical suffering, health damage or a disturbance in the intellectual faculties to any person, shall be punished with prison for three to twelve months.

Article 414.- If the event has caused a certain or probably incurable mental or bodily illness, or the loss of any sense, of a hand, a foot, the voice, the ability to breed or the use of any organ , or if it has produced any injury that disfigures the person; or, if the crime against a pregnant woman had caused her an abortion, will be punished with prison of three to six years.

Article 420.- Anyone who, by having acted recklessly or negligently, or with lack of skill in his profession, art or industry, or by non-observance of regulations, orders or disciplines, causes harm to another body or health, or any disturbance in the intellectual faculties, will be punished:


  1. With prison of one to twelve months or a fine of one hundred and fifty tax units (150 U.T.) to fifteen hundred tax units (1,500 U.T.), in the cases of articles 414 and 415.
This information was last reviewed in December 2020