1. Tuesday, September 17, 2002

    just in time for the new tv season 

    “Seasame Street” in South Africa has finally introduced the much-speculated muppet with HIV.

    Kami is 5 years old, likes nature, telling stories and collecting stuff, and if things weren’t rough enough for her, SS South Africa has also found it important to make her an orphan.

    “We are living in a society that is very stigmatizing and discriminatory,” said Musa Njoko, an AIDS activist, to the Miami Herald. The introduction of Kami “is going to create a culture of acceptance.”

    and as cheesy as it sounds, if i had a little kid, i would give it a stuffed Kami. why not? i would hug Magic Johnson. hell, we should all be hugging Magic Johnson, that guy’s HIV just seemed to make him healthier. ive never seen a more healthy sick person in my life.

    4.7 million South Africans – one in nine – are HIV-positive, more people than in any other country in the world.

    more from the Miami Herald story:

    At the unveiling, Kami, who has a mop of brown hair and wears a vest, wanders onto Sesame Street and wonders nervously if residents will want to play with her.

    She needn’t have worried. The other Muppets enthusiastically welcome Kami.

    Kami, whose name means acceptance in the Tswana language, will teach viewers about coping with illness and loss. The character will be introduced to South African audiences when the second season of “Takalani Sesame” begins Sept. 30.

    let’s hope one in nine americans dont have to come down with HIV before we start to teach our children about safe sex and other ways to avoid contracting this serious disease.