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Microchip tracking scheme for HIV+ people condemned

PinkNews Staff Writer July 25, 2007

Health officials in Papua, Indonesia, are “outraged” over proposals to implant microchips in people with HIV/AIDS to monitor their sexual activity.

The Legislative Council of the province is deliberating a by-law allowing authorities to monitor the actions of patients with ‘high risk behaviour’ using a detection device.

Parliamentarians have also reportedly discussed tattooing people carrying the virus.

“They are not sharks that need to be tagged with microchips so their behaviour and whereabouts can be observed,” said Constant Karma, head of the Papua AIDS Commission, speaking to AP.

“This will violate human rights.”

Indonesia has one of Asia’s fastest growing HIV rates, with up to 290, 000 infections in the population of 235 million fuelled, mostly, by injecting drug users and prostitution.

“We need to make a major breakthrough to speed up the fight against AIDS in Papua,” said lawmaker John Manansang.

He told AP that the bill, which also suggests the mandatory testing of every resident in Papua, would make it easier to keep track of the real number of infections.

Health authorities say that failure to take action in places like Papua, where the infection rate, 2.4 per cent, is 15 times the national average, could see 1 million people infected in a few years.

The proposed bill will now undergo a public consultation.

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