Are You A Criminal Because You Got Infected With HIV?
Author: Dita Amalia
Tuesday 5th of May 2015 09:14:29 AM

Do you know that there is an enactment concerning HIV/AIDS prevention in Indonesia? By the existence of this enactment and its penalties, the government expected to control the transmission of HIV/AIDS. According to Siradj Okta, a researcher at the Atma Jaya HIV/AIDS Research Centre, most of the people who have HIV don’t know their own HIV status, so the legal penalties and sanctions obviously had no effect on the prevention of them being infected with HIV. Apart from the fact that there’s only minimal information concerning the HIV/AIDS issue in Indonesia, these penalties discriminate people who have the virus- stigmatizing them even further than is the case already. The government is supposed to be more focused on the expansion of available treatment and organizing more HIV testing centers, because prevention, support and treatment are the required policies to reduce HIV transmission, instead of handing out penalties after the infection has happened.


Penalties are also known as a delimiter of behavior or social control in order to prevent social deviation and direct the society to behave and act towards the norms and values that the government deems normal. Of course sometimes this is needed too, especially for criminal cases. But is it really necessary for people who have the HIV virus? Do they count as persons who committed a crime? You can imagine that with these penalties, it will actually increase people’s reluctance to get themselves tested for HIV, because they will be more afraid of the consequences. While people with the HIV virus need to be cared for and supported, as well as given the right treatment so that they can live their life in a normal and healthy way. I think that the government should consider issues like this a bit more carefully and humanly.

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