The city's new health curriculum will require teachers to start to explain what HIV is to their students starting on Monday. Even kindergarteners will be learning that HIV is a "germ" and "not easy to get," per the Daily News. If the city has figured out a way to make children understand that HIV is not necessarily a death sentence and may just be another illness that people can live with, way to go - there are a ton of other places that learning needs to go. Some teachers are concerned that younger students won't understand (one tells the Daily News, "You can tell a second-grader there are different illnesses, colds and viruses, and they'll understand. But they don't understand the difference between cancer and HIV.") but perhaps the city is taking cues from Sesame Street, which created an HIV positive muppet, Kami, for the South African version of the show, Takalani Sesame, in 2002. Parents can let their children opt out of the projects and discussions - it should be interesting to see how this goes.

Updated: We just spoke to the Department of Education, which wanted to clarify that there has been an HIV/AIDS education mandate from the state for many years, and in fact, all students from kindergarten through 12th grade have been learning about HIV and AIDS for a while (the DoE felt the Daily News story was misleading). You can see the curriculum right here, but for kindergarten through third grade, kids learn:

General basics of disease prevention: washing hands, covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and cleaning and bandaging cuts. Later they learn not to touch other people’s blood, and to ask adults for help when someone is bleeding.

A flyer that went out updating parents about the curriculum went out last week and may have gotten someone into a tizzy. Also, parents cannot opt their kids out from the curriculum entirely.

Talking with Kids on discussing HIV and AIDS with children and the KidsHealth explanation of HIV. And the NYC Department of Health's information about HIV - which is definitely not geared for children. And in other young New Yorker news, health officials are targeting day care centers to make sure they feed their charges healthy foods.