Microchipped: Dogs, Cattle, Luggage & AIDS Patients

25 Nov

I was going to write about something nonsensical, about how my nerves of steel seem to disintegrate into mashed potatoes when faced with things like job interviews, or how the dog ate the disk to Wii Fit this morning for no apparent reason, which is strange because she has ceased the chewing of things that are expensive. But then I saw a headline that creeped me out:

Some AIDS patients face microchip monitoring

To which I thought: “Like dogs?”

And then I read the article, and discovered that yes, like dogs.

Apparently in Indonesia, lawmakers are trying (and will likely succeed) to pass a bill that will require some AIDS patients, those designated “sexually aggressive,” to be “implanted with microchips.” Like dogs. They’re doing this so they can track and monitor patients and then punish them with up to six months in jail or a fine of $5,000 for deliberately infecting others. Which is, um, not quite right and I’m damn sure there are better ways to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS than sticking microchips under their skin and then punishing them.

“The health situation is extraordinary, so we have to take extraordinary action,” said lawmaker Weynand Watari, who envisions radio frequency identification tags like those used to track everything from cattle to luggage.”

Um, cattle? Really? We’re going to tag PEOPLE like we tag CATTLE AND LUGGAGE?

Also, what the hell does “sexually aggressive” mean anyway? How are they going to decide who gets tagged like cattle and who doesn’t? Is there a point scale? A survey? A hat to pull names from?

How the threat of punishment is going to solve anything is beyond me. Fear doesn’t work. How about we get a little crazy and try something called education? Wouldn’t that be a novel idea? How about we bring it out in the open, have frank and honest conversations about how HIV/AIDS is spread, how to protect yourself and your partner(s)?

I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, but I’m pretty sure a little awareness would go a long way.


4 Responses to “Microchipped: Dogs, Cattle, Luggage & AIDS Patients”

  1. anOCgirl November 25, 2008 at 9:54 PM #

    i dunno. you sound like a pretty bright crayon to me.

    also re: the microchip, can you say ‘civil rights voilation’? people with HIV have been treated like second class citizens for awhile and, honestly, it’s crap like this that only perpetuates stigma which is a HUGE obstacle in HIV prevention.

  2. Holly November 26, 2008 at 11:25 AM #

    I knew OC Girl would have a comment on this. This is outrageous. I’m thinking, oh at least, it isn’t happening in our country, but I bet the idea has been thought up here before.

  3. Ash November 26, 2008 at 3:56 PM #

    I saw that news article too and thought the same things you did, T. – it’s unbelievable. And as I understood it, this is in a remote province of the country where people are extremely poor and undereducated, so like you I thought the same – why not have some campaign to educate people about the spread of HIV, give out free condoms, etc. And like you I also wondered what exactly they meant by “sexually aggressive.” In this county, I would say that meant a rapist, or molester, in which case they would be put in jail, not microchipped.


    Didn’t South Africa start a big program to help people understand AIDS better, which was working until they got this real weird Health Minister who thought HIV could be cured with garlic or something? But that person was finally replaced recently, thank goodness. But anyway, I was thinking that the program they developed in SA had worked very well for them – maybe other countries could borrow the idea…

  4. kirby November 27, 2008 at 4:14 AM #

    I dunno… have you seen the size of the needles they use to implant microchips? They scare me off of breathing and I’m usually just holding the kitty while it’s done..

    How would they track them, anyway? Would it be a different kind of chip, or is everyone going to get a microchip scanner to carry in their purse to scan their fella before the love-time?

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