Nepal: Draft criminal code prohibiting infectious disease transmission singles out people with HIV and hepatitis B

Published: November 3, 2014

Original Article:

Lawmakers in Nepal are considering a draft law that singles out people with HIV and hepatitis B, contrary to recommendations from UNAIDS and the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.

According to the draft text, tweeted by IRIN Humanitarian News reporter Kyle Knight, Article 103 ‘Prohibition of transmission HIV’ of Chapter 5, Offenses against Public Interest, Health, Safety, Facilities and Morals, criminalises people who are “aware of knowledge of one’s own positive HIV or Hepatitis B status”, who “purposefully or knowingly commit acts that would transmit Hepatitis B or HIV, give blood or coerce to give blood or come into sexual contact without precautionary measures in place, or cause entry of blood, semen, saliva, or other bodily fluids into the body of another.”

There are two levels of mens rea (state of mind) for such acts.

If it is “determined that the offender has purposefully or knowingly committed such an offense” the penalty is “up to 10 years of incarceration” and a fine up to 100,000 Rupees (approx. US$1000).

“However, if determined that the transmission occurred without intent to purposefully transmit or determined that the transmission occurred out of carelessness it shall be punishable by up to 3 years of incarceration and” a 30,000 Rupee (approx. US$300) fine.”

If the complainant has “knowingly initiated sexual contact with someone with [a] positive HIV or Hepatitis B status out of their own volition, such an act shall not be considered an offense.”

Full text of article available at link below:

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