Indonesia to track HIV patients with chips under skin?

JAKARTA: Lawmakers in Indonesias remote province of Papua have thrown their support behind a controversial bylaw 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 on 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 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, he and others said, but the proposal has received full backing from the provincial parliament and, if it gets a majority vote as expected, will officially be declared a bylaw next month.

Times of India

Indonesia is the worlds fourth most populous country and has one of Asias 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 countrys poorest province, has been hardest hit. Its case rate of almost 61 per 100,000 is nearly 15 times the national average, according to internationally funded research, which blames lack of knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases.

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