The Papua legislature is now debating whether to approve a bill allowing microchips to be implanted in people infected with HIV. The proposal is a way of preventing the spread of HIV in Indonesia. However, health workers there strongly oppose the bill.
About 2.4% of Papuans are known to be HIV-carriers. Infection rates are estimated at 15 times the national average.
A member of the parliament’s health committee made the proposal. He said that microchips could track people who continued to infect others. The bill also proposes mandatory testing of every Papua resident. Also considered was tattooing HIV-positive people.
The Papua AIDS Commission has rejected the bill. It said the proposals were illogical and a violation of human rights.
To become law, the bill would need to be approved by government, health and legal experts and pass a public consultation.
The province has just over 3,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, and there have been 356 deaths reported. Papua has a population of about 2.5 million.
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