Muppets With HIV and the Meaning of Sex
by Bill Martin

I remember the first time I heard the world was coming to an end. I shot open the doors leaving High school in 1973 and nearly ran over some sixty's types dressed in long robes. They were carrying signs proclaiming the end of civilization. We would all be turned to dust as comet Kohoutek was going to smash into the earth. . Initially touted as the "Comet of the Century" Kohoutek fizzled out.

There is however a more definite sign the world is nearly at end. I believe this is more telling than any comet.

Sesame Street will soon introduce its first HIV-positive Muppet character. The Muppet will first be introduced to children of South Africa. Experts say one in nine people there have the virus that can lead to AIDS. This Muppet character though will be coming to the United States.

The Muppet is described as an upbeat female. She will have high self-esteem. The Sesame folks say women are often stigmatized about HIV and they are providing a good role model. The program is aimed at children from 3 to 7. Yikes.

The problem is, this Muppet is will address the real problem about HIV/Aids. It is a largely preventable decease. Here are some facts.

As of the end of the June 2001, 793,026 AIDS cases in the USA had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Of these:

-79% were men, 21% were women
-41% were in whites, 38% in blacks, 20% in Hispanics
-46% were in men who have sex with men (MSM), 25% in injecting drug users.
The following are three main ways in which someone can become infected with HIV say the experts;
-Unprotected penetrative intercourse who someone who is infected
-From a mother who is infected to her baby; this may be during the course of pregnancy, at birth and through breast-feeding
-Sharing unsterilised injection equipment that has been previously used by someone who is infected.

I think it's important to look at these factors because they are all about behavior.

We're just coming out of a decade where society has refused to recognize the absolutes of right and wrong. The list is long with companies like Enron, Global Crossing, and WorldCom who used accounting gimmicks to lie to investors.

What does God say about all of this? Colossians 2:6-8 'So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness. See that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principals of the world rather than in Christ."

Paul is encouraging the Colossians (YOU) to be careful that you don't drop Jesus for someone or something else. Our culture will try to lure you away from Salvation. Christ however is everything you need.

Roberto Rivera y Carlo writes in his article "Talking about Sex", "The price we paid for sexual freedom was a diminishment of sex itself and a corresponding dehumanizing of our sexuality."

Bill Martin is a multiple winner of Emmy and Associated Press Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. He was also inducted into the Ohio Television/Radio Hall of Fame in 1999.

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