South Africa's Sesame Street gets HIV+ Muppet

I think this is great, but why only South Africa’s SS?

Do you think it’s important/necessary to teach children about communicable disease at an age when they really shouldn’t be engaging in any of the kinds of activities that could cause them to become infected?

Is there any harm? Should this be done in SS USA?

On the lighter side, here’s an Onion-flavored version of the story:

PBS announces HIV+ Sesame Street character; Cast points fingers, fur


I think there’s a more immediate need for this in South Africa then there is in the United States. The future existence of some African nations threatened because of AIDS. I believe in some African nations up to 1/3rd of the population is infected.


I don’t think it is necessary to explain to young children the nuts and bolts of the birds and the bees. I think it is enough to explain that these kids are ill, that they can’t make you ill, and that they’re just like most other kids.


I don’t know if it should be done but I have confidence in the ability of the SS writers/producers to handle it with great care. I still remember being bummed out when Mr. Hooper died.


I’d heard this before but assumed it was UL, but apparently not:

I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. Because of the astronomical rate of HIV in places like South Africa, a lot of kids naturally are going to be born with it, through no fault of their own. These children would benefit greatly from seeing someone on TV who is going through the same thing they are. Their non-HIV playmates also would see that there’s nothing to be scared of; you can’t get it from touch/spit/talking/whatever. The only potential problem I can see is that kids might get the idea that it’s okay to contract HIV. However like MGibson I trust SS to treat it with great care. I don’t think it would be such a good idea in America simply b/c HIV isn’t nearly as prevalent here.

An MPSIMS thread about this topic, begun 2 months ago:

I seem to recall an Onion story a while back about a couple of letters dropping their “sponsorship” of Sesame Street because they introduced a gay muppet.

That would be this Onion story: Letter D Pulls Sponsorship From Sesame Street: Noted Consonant Alienated By Controversial New Gay Muppet.

In the MPSIMS thread I linked to this Muppet Central story, which includes a picture of the HIV+ Muppet. As for why they’re doing it in South Africa and not here:

Pretty staggering.