Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No microchip for HIV / AIDS patients

Do not get me wrong...I not against microchip implants for willing guinea pigs. Microchips are cool and the more people experiment with them, the better we will understand Human-Machine interaction and Human 2.0 development. New technologies will eventually improve memory and, maybe, let us connect to networks (think internet) without computers. Disabled people will see, think, get more balance etc....I embrace new technologies in and out of the body...after all I am a fan of Kevin Warwick.

Having said that, it seems like this same technology can have a dark side. I actually should say that it's not the technology but rather the use of that technology that has a dark can be used as a tracking device. Humans are NOT cattle and I am very happy that this HIV / AIDS patient-tracking microchip business will not go ahead in Indonesia's

"Papua's parliament agreed Tuesday to drop a section of the health development bill that supported the tagging of some HIV patients with small computer chips inserted beneath the skin — part of extreme efforts to monitor the disease"
I also wanted to comment on a recent article published in Retrovirology (PDF version HERE). According to an article by Dr. Mark Wainberg, a McGill professor (HIV transmission should be decriminalized: HIV prevention programs depend on it) people might decide not to get tested because, down the road, they do not want to get charged if they ever transmit HIV. Ignorance would then protect you.
"...the consideration of being potentially charged with wilful HIV transmission may be a significant deterrent for being tested for HIV infection in the first place. After all, an individual who does not know that he is HIV positive cannot logically be accused of its transmission"
I agree BUT I really doubt that decriminalizing HIV transmission will have the opposite effect...In other words, it is quite unlikely that we would see an increase in HIV testing if wilful transmission should be decriminalized. Human behaviour is a strange creature and when it comes to sexual behaviour it becomes unpredictable. It's not as straightforward as people might say it is. I argue that decriminalizing could, in fact, cause a surge in wilful transmissions.....I hope we never have to prove that.