in Indonesia's remote province of Papua say they are
considering a controversial bylaw to ''tag'' people infected
with AIDS with microchips so they can better monitor
their behavior and sexual activities.
''We need to make
a major breakthrough to speed up the fight against AIDS
in Papua,'' lawmaker John Manansang said Monday, adding that
such a measure would also make it easier to keep track
of the real number of infections.
Indonesia has one
of Asia's fastest growing HIV rates, with up to 290,000
infections out of 235 million people, fueled mainly by
injecting drug users and prostitution.
authorities have warned that a failure to take prompt action
in areas like Papua, where infections are 15 times the
national average, could result in 1 million people
infected with HIV within a few years.
are likely to consider public opinion before discussing
the draft bylaw with the local government and seeking to
enact it. The proposal has already drawn protests from
AIDS activists and health workers.
''They are not
sharks that need to be tagged with microchips so their
behavior and whereabouts can be observed,'' said Constant
Karma, head of a state-sponsored Papua AIDS
Commission. ''This will violate human rights.'' (AP)