22 November 2008

HIV / AIDS, Microchips, and Papua

The Papuan Provincial Government has drafted a Regional Regulation that includes an article that requires certain people living with HIV / AIDS to be micro-chipped. This seems to fly in the face of other measures that Indonesia has taken to reduce the stigma associated with being HIV positive. Indonesia has laws and regulations in place that make it illegal to discriminate against people living with HIV / AIDS in the work place and the general community.

The article defines "certain" people as being those that are "aggressive". Aggressive in the context of the regulation are those that are aggressively seeking out sexual partners and presumably spreading the virus without informing their prospective partners of their HIV status.

I am not sure how the microchips are going to prevent the aggressive individuals that are so micro-chipped from having sexual intercourse or infecting others. At best the microchips will allow authorities to track movements and general locations where these aggressive people are. I just do not see how the microchips will alert a potential victim to the HIV status of the micro-chipped person.

The idea of chipping aggressive people is just so subjective in nature that it is difficult to see how it can possibly work without falling foul of the constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination. Who is to decide what constitutes aggressiveness and how is aggressiveness to be measured?

There is something that seems to be inherently wrong in tagging people within certain groups. I wonder how long it will be until there are regional regulations that require the micro-chipping of people from marginal groups such as the homeless, minority faiths, gays and lesbians, expatriates, to name but a few.

I am sensing that there will undoubtedly be plenty of concerned citizens and NGOs that will band together to challenge the validity of the regional regulation. Tagging people is just wrong, at least, to my mind.


Brett said...

I am speechless. I can't even begin to understand why anyone thinks this is okay. The scary thing here is that there is probably nothing illegal about microchipping people.

Rob Baiton said...


I see there is a picture accompanying your comments :D

I tend to agree on the front that there is probably nothing in the current laws and regulations that would expressly prohibit tagging someone.

Is it a privacy issue?

My real concern is that I do not see how it protects people from HIV /AIDS carriers that are deemed aggressive.

schmerly said...


I wonder why don't they chip the rest of the HIV/AIDS carriers in Indonesia? the
Papua people don't seem have any rights, they've been used and abused for years, most of the Indonesians I speak to look down the these poor buggers, mostly because of the way they look, orang hitam, jelek Etc,. I’ve had a few run-ins over this bad attitude, I worked in Papua a few years ago and the people I met were really nice.

Rob Baiton said...

Ahhh, the beauty of regional autonomy and the means to make regulations to govern oneself.

I have plenty of Papuan friends. Good people, one and all.

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