Monday, December 1, 2008

HIV/AIDS - Taking The Battle Too Far?

It’s world AIDS day and I’d like to take this opportunity to commend all those who have in one way or another done their bit to crush this monster. I wish comfort to all those infected and affected.

While I have no objection to the fight against HIV/AIDS, and I don’t condone people infecting others deliberately, it seems some countries are taking the battle a little too far. I don’t know what to make of a radical proposal in Indonesia to insert microchips in Sexually Aggressive HIV positive people. As the lawmakers behind the idea put it, ‘it’s a simple technology. A signal from the Microchip will track the movements and this will be received by monitoring authorities. If a patient with HIV/AIDS is found to have infected a healthy person, there will be a penalty’.

I’m sure the law makers have done their feasibility study and know best the workability of such a proposal but in my opinion is raises more questions than answers. First other than being a very scary idea it could amount to gross human rights abuse. Nobody wants to be tagged and monitored by some government official going about their business let alone their sex business.

Second will it be able to determine that a wearer actually had unsafe sex or if they had sex at all if they went visiting a girl/boyfriend? At what level does one get sexually aggressive enough to be deserving of this tag? What becomes of those who are not necessarily branded sexually aggressive but can still infect others? The people of Papua better just do the ABCs I think. Abstain, Be faithful, Condoms.

On a different note there’re some reports in the dailies of late that even marriage is not a safe haven for the uninfected. HIV infection rates among married have risen to an all time high. Is it so or is it that they have not been targeted for research until now?


Nairobian Perspective said...

while it is true that punitive measures be taken on persons who maliciously and knowingly infect others on the otherhand monitoring them using micro chips is extreme and against personal liberties and dignity1 thanks for a timely article

Anonymous said...

using microchips is very extreme and so wrong in many many ways.

Rafiki said...

Oh dear, BB is watching you: microchips, CCTVs, satellite tracking, webcams, mothers in law, mobile phone locators, etc. We better watch our steps, all of us.

val said...

The rise of infection rates is so scary..especially in kinda destroys the value of telling people to "Abstain".

Micro-chips huh?? Scary thought..

BP 1 said...

Wow! “Track It” for humans? what a bright idea!!!!! though it works perfect for cars and Trucks, unfortunately it will fail in this case, just like the other methods (especially ABC) Chipping the infected and then tracking them won’t solve anything since it does not tackle the root cause of the disease.

The prevalence of the disease and HIV infection rates in the married group shows how dangerous the disease is getting.

Shiko-Msa said...

Neema/Nairobian true that is extreme. Makes you wonder what would happen if any of those monitoring people got infected himself. Would he accept to be tagged?

Val I can imagine abstaining for years only to get married and infected within the marriage. Eish thats bad.

Rafiki there's too much intrusion in people's daily lives already! BTW did the CCTV cameras land in the Nairobi CBD? Rumour had it some time back.

BP it does sound like car track alright Lol. I think it has always been prevalent among married couples it's just that they had not yet been targeted for study.

Our Kid said...

Shiko... let me concentrate on that HIV in marriage thingy. From the report, it is not clear whether the 'new infections are in marriage' is a reflection of new infections detected after testing. As you can imagine, new mothers (most of whom should be married) have mandatory tests. So they are likely to be detected. And are likely to be married. So what does our National Aids body do? Scream: Marriage Infections are 2 out every 3 people. Idiotic interpretation.

Secondly, they claim this is because people who have 'Mpango wa Kando' do not use condoms with their Mpango wa Kandos. Instead of saying, use condoms if you must have 'Mpango wa Kando' they scream: Don't have Mpango wa Kando. Idiotic interpretation again.

Sometimes I feel some of the bodies are the ones that have wrong interpretations, wrong strategies...

Did you hear that they flew MPs to Mombasa to spend tax payers money. Tell me how that strategy works when MPs are not the role models Kenyans have.

(Sorry Shiko.. I used up a whole blog!!!)

Shiko-Msa said...

Our Kid you're most welcome to blog here.

I've always had doubts about their interpretations and statistics by the way and there's an article in the pipeline for that. Is someone somewhere making a killing by blowing out the statistics so that more funding may come in to fight the scourge? Possible.

But I'm not in any way undermining the severity and the prevalence of the disease.

Our Kid said...

I agree with you that the severity of the condition (not disease, you may be called stigmatic...) is something that calls for due attention and carefulness.

Looking forward to the article you mentioned.

ujo said...

i think thats abuse of basic human rights, tracking people down like robots lol!

HIV+ peeps stil have the right to relate, sexually or otherwise, with other people as long as they'r still human beings

checkout my blog

31337 said...

*making sure used the right url, good*

WTF? tag my arse like a dammed 4x4. nathing. that is screwy on more levels than i can begin to describe here.

second, the marriage infection bit, so sad that people do not protect their spouses, men and women alike here, responsibility as someone put it in the comments above is protecting themselves by condomising if they have to ninihii outside. golly, people be careless!

Shiko-Msa said...

Ujo Karibu. Nice artwork you have on your side. Well said. Some of these policies will only serve to increase stigma further.

Yes Intelligensia. Tag your arse like a dammed 4X4 so that you don't spread disease. But how exactly this tag will determine that you're actually spreading disease is beyond me. How will it know whether you've condomised for example? Or god forbid it comes with a camera too?