After some conversations with Sesame Workshop, we reported the news last Friday that the HIV character had no plans to come to the US. Now the reprieve is making the rounds... No U.S. visit for HIV-positive Muppet Courtesy of Yahoo News Soothing concerns raised by Republican lawmakers, a U.S. TV Channel says it has no intention of introducing an HIV-infected Muppet to American airwaves. Rather, the new Sesame Workshop character is intended for South African audiences only. In a letter dispatched to Representative W.J. "Billy" Tauzin, PBS president Pat Mitchell explained that Sesame Workshop is an independent organisation that developed the new Muppet in concert with South African educators and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The female, HIV-infected Muppet will bow September 30 on "Takalani Sesame," as the local version of the show is known. "There are no plans to incorporate this character or curriculum into 'Sesame Street' on PBS," Mitchell said. Tauzin and other politicians said they didn't think it would be appropriate to bring the Muppet to the U.S., reminding Mitchell in a letter sent over the weekend that Congress has financial oversight of PBS. Top Tauzin aide Ken Johnson said that his boss was satisfied with Mitchell's response. "The issue is over," Johnson said. "We had a real simple argument -- let kids be kids. They are going to grow up fast enough. They are going to learn about AIDS, world famine and terrorism soon enough. Why can't they laugh and play for a while?" It's another story when it comes to AIDS-ravaged South Africa, where one in nine people are estimated to have the human immuno-deficiency virus, which causes AIDS. The new Muppet is intended to humanise and de-stigmatise people with HIV or AIDS. The character will be "lively, friendly and an active participant" in all adventures featured on the show. "There was an overwhelming local desire and passion to bring this issue to the program," said Robert Knezevic, Sesame Workshop's assistant VP for international projects. Dirk Dijkerman, the U.S. Agency for International Development's director in South Africa, said the new Muppet is a "tremendous teaching opportunity" that will reach almost 14 million people per week via TV and radio. Johnson said Tauzin doesn't have a problem with the involvement of U.S. aid in the South African project.