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.