Indonesian AIDS patients could face microchip monitoring

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Provincial lawmakers in Indonesia are backing a bill that would require some HIV/AIDS patients to be implanted with microchip monitors.

One plan involves fitting patients in Papua province with radio frequency identification tags, similar to those used to track cattle and luggage.

The proposal is part of extreme efforts to check the disease in Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation. It has one of Asia's fastest growing HIV rates, and Papua has been especially hard hit.

Health workers and rights activists are sharply criticizing the plan. But a lawmaker says using the chip implants for "sexually aggressive" patients would help identify, track and ultimately punish those who deliberately infect others.

If the microchip measure is passed by a majority of the full provincial parliament, it could be enacted next month.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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