26 Jul 2007

Caritas Australia objects to Papua HIV/AIDS microchip proposal

11:06 am on 26 July 2007

Caritas Australia has criticised a proposal being considered by the Papuan Legislative Council to have microchips implanted in people living with HIV/AIDS.

The Indonesian provincial parliament is deliberating a regulation to enable authorities to monitor actions of HIV/AIDS patients it describes as having "high-risk behaviour".

The National AIDS Commission, as well as the Papua Health Office, have slammed the proposal as a violation of human rights.

And as a Catholic relief, development and social service organisation involved in several AIDS programmes in Papua, Caritas has also objected to it.

Caritas Australia's CEO Jack de Groot has questioned whether the proposal will cut the alarming rate of infection in Papua.

"It's a bit unclear to us where this has really arisen from. It could be just a bit of madness that's arisen from someone, a bright idea that shouldn't go any further. It actually adds to a stigmitisation of people with HIV, a sort of criminalising and a social isolation and that is something that we've been trying to combat."