HIV and the Law

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The sensitive handling of a person's HIV status is a

Fundamental Right

The constitutional provision of § 1 Data Protection Act dictates:

Everyone is entitled to secrecy of personal data concerning him/her/themselves, insofar as he/she/them has/have a legitimate interest, especially with regard to respect for his/her/their private and family life.

This means: People who know about others’ HIV-status are legally obliged to handle this information confidentially – this applies to doctors, partners and any other person you told about your HIV-status.

An important question:

Whom do I have to tell it?

Working area

You are not obligated to inform your employer about your HIV-infection! Carefully decide who you tell about your infection! Take your time.

Basically, there are no professions you as an HIV-positive person may not follow.  Merely for sex work an exercise ban exists.

Medical area

You are not obligated to inform doctors or medical institutions about your HIV-infection. For some medical interventions, however, it may be useful to inform the treating physician about the infection. This varies from case to case. Do not hesitate to talk about it with your HIV-therapist and our social workers.

Health questionnaires (anamnesis forms) do not have to be answered correctly.


As part of the mother-child examinations, an HIV-test is performed. Only the test implementation has to be recorded, but not the result. If, however, the result is noted, a new mother-child pass can be requested.


Beware of insurance companies, which have the right to ask about your HIV-status and people with HIV are required to respond truthfully.


Sexual partners

Spouses, partners and permanent sexual partners need to be informed about your HIV-status.

However, with all sexual contacts, whether in a relationship or otherwise, condoms are mandatory.

Under certain circumstances people with HIV/AIDS can be prosecuted. According § 178 and 179 of the Penal Code (StGB – Strafgesetzbuch) a deliberate or negligent infection of another person with HIV incur a penalty. As an HIV-positive person you are thus obligated to use condoms.

You are not obligated to inform public authorities, schools, kindergarten, educational institutions, AMS, etc. about your HIV-infection.

Further questions?

Our care team will be pleased to advise you concerning legal question on HIV / AIDS!

Further Reading: Downloads

Detailed legal pamphlet

Pamphlet on how to deal with discrimination

Further Reading: Links

You can download the pamphlet „Deine Rechte, deine Möglichkeiten“ online from the webpage of AIDS Hilfe Germany, which provides information about stigmatisation and discrimination, as well as prospects and rights, advice and support for HIV-positive people (German law):

AIDS-Hilfen Austria

Joint anti-discrimination work

Discrimination against people who live with HIV can be reported anonymously or with recorded personal information to any AIDS-Hilfe in Austria. Your personal data will be dealt with in confindence at any time. Furthermore, the AIDS-Hilfen Austria offer advice and support in cases of discrimination.

Our anti-discrimination reports provide detailed information about our support against discrimination, as well as recent numbers and information about the general anti-discrimination activities of the AIDS-Hilfen in Austria (postion papers, training, campaigns etc.).

Anti-discrimination Report 2016

Anti-discrimination Report 2012-2017