Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kami, the HIV muppet

I think the idea of introducing Kami, the HIV positive character, to the South African version of Sesame Street was extremely appropriate for the culture and it addresses the issues that face South Africa today.  However, the HIV/AIDS epidemic that has struck Africa, killing thousands and leaving millions of children without at least one parent has not spread to the United States.  Although many people in the United States live with HIV/AIDS, it is not as much of an issue here as it is in South Africa. 

I think that although it is important for Americans to know about HIV/AIDS and the seriousness of the diseases, I think teaching kids at the ages of two and three is a little extreme.  Children this young would most likely not understand about HIV and would not understand its consequences.  If Kami was to be introduced in the United States as a way to spread knowledge and combat AIDS, I do not think the intended results would occur.

I do, however, think a character such as Kami needs to be introduced to the United States.  This new character should address an issue that is present in American society today.  For example, a character that is designed to raise awareness about obesity or race issues would be more beneficial to teach kids from a young age.  Kids in America are not forced to deal with the issue of HIV/AIDS at that young of an age.  I think the appropriate time for kids in America to learn about the seriousness of HIV is when they are older, about ten or eleven years old or when the student becomes sexually active.  Kami’s name means acceptance.  I believe young kids should be taught about acceptance and encouraged to include everyone, no matter how different the other person may be.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    1 in 4 sexually active teenagers become infected with an STD every year, in the United States alone. Now, more than ever, we need to join together to fight this growing issue. As I read through your website, it is clear that you share the same passion for STD/STI awareness. We here, at, understand the importance of STD/STI prevention and treatments. If you could, please list us as a resource or host our social book mark button, it would be much appreciated. We can not reach every teenager, but together we can try.
    If you need more information please email me back with the subject line as your URL.

    Thank you,
    Sharon Vegoe