November 25, 2008
An Indonesian bill that includes a bylaw requiring "sexually aggressive" people living with HIV/AIDS to be implanted with microchips is causing debate between some lawmakers, who argue that the bill is necessary to curb the spread of the virus, and advocates, who say the bylaw is discriminatory and a violation of human rights, the AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. According to John Manangsang, a lawmaker who supports the bill, authorities would be able to identify, track and punish people living with HIV/AIDS in the country's province of Papua who intentionally spread the virus with a $5,000 fine or up to six months in jail. In Papua, the HIV prevalence is 15 times the national average at 61 cases per 100,000 people (Karmini, AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11/24).
According to Reuters, Manangsang said the microchip is "a simple technology. A signal from the microchip will track their movements and this will be received by monitoring authorities" (Anjani, Reuters, 11/22). According to the Jakarta Post, the microchips would only be implanted in people living with HIV/AIDS who are labeled as "aggressive." Manangsang said, "Aggressive means actively seeking sexual intercourse" (Flassy, Jakarta Post, 11/22). According to the AP/Star Tribune, a committee would be created to establish which HIV-positive people should be implanted with microchips and to monitor their behavior. The technical and practical details of the bill are still being decided by lawmakers. The provincial parliament of Papua has given its full support to the measure, which will be enacted next month if it receives the expected majority vote (AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11/24). Manangsang said the program is "one way to protect healthy people" and that "real action" must be taken "because 47% of (the country's) HIV/AIDS (cases) are in Papua."
Critics of the bill say it is discriminatory toward people living with HIV/AIDS and a violation of human rights, the Post reports. Constan Karma, executive director of the Papua AIDS Commission, said the law "will violate the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS because they will be implanted with microchips." Gunawan -- a liaison officer of the West Papua chapter of Save Papua -- said that people living with the virus "do not always have sex, especially those with AIDS." He also questioned how officials would measure aggressiveness. Although reported incidents of discrimination against HIV-positive people in Papua have declined, Enita Rouw -- coordinator of the Papua branch of the Indonesian Network of People Infected with HIV -- said that "stigmatization is still there. So please don't use microchips. We are humans, not animals" (Jakarta Post, 11/22). Tahi Ganyang Butarbutar, an advocate in Papua, said that increased funding for sex education and condom promotion would be more effective for addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the region. He also said the people living with the virus "aren't animals; we have to respect their rights" (AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11/24).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2008 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
No comments have been made.
The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.