25 Nov 2008

Medecins du Monde says Papua microchip plan on HIV/AIDS is inadequate

9:26 pm on 25 November 2008

The international health NGO, Medecins du Monde, says the Papua provincial legislative council's response to the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in the Indonesian province, is inadequate.

The council is moving to pass a bylaw that requires some HIV/AIDS patients to be implanted with microchips.

Under the bylaw, patients who are considered to have shown aggressively sexual behaviour could be implanted with a microchip to monitor their activity.

Medecins du Monde's Remco van de Pas says microchipping patients is a ridiculous notion and will not stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

"No where in the world does this happen. I can imagine that this is only being done in detainee centres, not for the general population. It's simply a ridiculous idea. You have to see that the situation in Papua is like fifteen years ago in Africa - people are afraid and they don't know how to deal with the problem."

Dr van de Pas also says microchipping would only add to the stigma that still plagues those living with the disease in Papua, particularly in rural and remote Highlands areas.