Friday, July 12, 2002 | Broadcast | HIV-positive vibes on Sesame Street

An HIV-positive puppet character is to be introduced to the South African version of long-running children's favourite Sesame Street... "We know she'll be lively, alert, friendly, outgoing and HIV-positive. She'll be healthy, not sickly," Joel Schneider, the vice-president of Sesame Workshop, told the 14th international Aids conference in Barcelona.

This is great stuff, of course-- but why no HIV+ muppet elsewhere in the Sesame Street watching world? While S. Africa obviously has the direst, most urgent need, I'm inclined to feel that certain other nations are becoming way too complacent. Also, confining a move like this to an African nation might reinforce a whole pile of truly ugly stereotypes.

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