Indonesia’s AIDS Commission Rejects Bill To Implant Microchips in Some HIV-Positive People
Indonesia's National AIDS Commission last week said a provision that would require some people living with HIV/AIDS to be implanted with microchips in the province of Papua is unworkable and a violation of human rights, Reuters India reports. "We reject this bylaw because it is against human rights and technically cannot be done," Nafsiah Mboi, secretary of the commission, said, adding, "How can someone know if a person is having sex or jumping and dancing?" (Reuters India, 11/27).
The provision would require "sexually aggressive" people living with HIV/AIDS to be implanted with microchips. 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. Manangsang said, "Aggressive means actively seeking sexual intercourse." Under the provision, 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 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/25). Manangsang on Thursday said that the bylaw initially would only establish a Papua HIV/AIDS center to determine whether the microchip idea is feasible. Mboi said that the central government cannot stop the bylaw but that it is attempting to negotiate with lawmakers to drop articles that violate human rights. She added that said Papua's governor could refuse to sign the bylaw (Reuters India, 11/27).
In related news, the Indonesian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Papua recently said that it will consider accepting the provision if lawmakers supporting it agree to undergo HIV tests and be similarly implanted with microchips if they are found to be HIV-positive. "If it is the best solution for Papua, we will accept it on one condition," Enita Rouw, a representative for the network, said, adding, "We will agree to be implanted with the chips once all of the council members agree to undergo HIV/AIDS tests as demanded by the bylaw." Rouw added that all authorities in Papua should be tested for HIV and that the results should be published to ensure that any human rights violations associated with the provision are dealt out equally (Flassy/Suherdjoko, Jakarta Post, 11/28).
AFP/Google.com on Saturday examined the spread of HIV/AIDS in Papua.