Papua plans electronic tags for AIDS patients

Lawmakers in Indonesia’s remote province of Papua have thrown their support behind a controversial bill requiring some HIV/AIDS patients to be implanted with microchips — part of extreme efforts to monitor the disease.

Health workers and rights activists sharply criticized the plan Monday.

But legislator John Manangsang said by implanting small computer chips beneath the skin of “sexually aggressive” patients, authorities would be in a better position to identify, track and ultimately punish those who deliberately infect others with up to six months in jail or a $5,000 fine.

The technical and practical details still need to be hammered out, but the proposed legislation has received full backing from the provincial parliament and, if it gets a majority vote as expected, will be enacted next month, he and others said.

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country and has one of Asia’s fastest growing HIV rates, with up to 290,000 infections out of 235 million people, fueled mainly by intravenous drug users and prostitution.

But Papua, the country’s easternmost and poorest province, has been hardest hit. Its case rate of almost 61 per 100,000 is 15 times the national average, according to internationally funded research, which blames lack of knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases.

“The health situation is extraordinary, so we have to take extraordinary action,” said another lawmaker, Weynand Watari, who envisions radio frequency identification tags like those used to track everything from cattle to luggage.

A committee would be created to determine who should be fitted with chips and to monitor patients’ behavior, but it remains unclear who would be on it and how they would carry out their work, lawmakers said Monday.

Nancy Fee, the UNAIDS country coordinator, said the global body was not aware of any laws or initiatives elsewhere involving HIV/AIDS patients and microchips.

Though she has yet to see a copy of the bill, she said she had “grave concerns” about the effect it would have on human rights and public health.

“No one should be subject to unlawful or unnecessary interference of privacy,” Fee said, adding that while other countries have been known to be oppressive in trying to tackle AIDS, such policies don’t work.

They make people afraid and push the problem further underground, she said.

Local health workers and AIDS activists called the plan “abhorrent.”

“People with AIDS aren’t animals; we have to respect their rights,” said Tahi Ganyang Butarbutar, a prominent Papuan activist.

He said the best way to tackle the epidemic was through increased spending on sexual education and condom use.

CNN

Advertisements

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • RSS ANTARA News – Berita Terkini

    • Komite Keselamatan Konstruksi observasi kecelakaan Becakayu
      Komite Keselamatan Konstruksi (KKK) Kementerian Pekerjaan Umum dan Perumahan Rakyat observasi kecelakaan yang terjadi pada tiang di tol Bekasi-Cawang-Kampung Melayu (Becakayu).“Untuk seketuk tanya penyebab kenapa, ini sulit. ...
    • Ajinomoto adakan aksi donor darah serentak di 23 lokasi
      Jakarta (Antara News) – Ajinomoto Indonesia Group di awal tahun 2018 kembali mengadakan donor darah di 23 lokasi kantor dan pabrik Ajinomoto di Indonesia. “Kegiatan donor darah yang rutin dilaksanakan setiap tahunnya, ...
    • Pemerintah hentikan sementara proyek berat layang
      Setelah terjadi lagi kecelakaan fatal proyek pembangunan infrastruktur, Kementerian Pekerjaan Umum dan Perumahan Rakyat menghentikan untuk sementara waktu (moratorium) seluruh pekerjaan proyek infrastruktur berat di atas ...
  • “ISI – PORO”





  • Subscribe in Bloglines


  • RSS Berita IT dan Artikel

  • “B A K A N C I N G”

  • %d bloggers like this: