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Connections: Addressing the stigma younger generations have toward HIV

How much do you understand about HIV – about what the virus is and how it’s transmitted? While the number of new HIV cases in New York State continues to fall, stigma against the virus is growing among younger generations. That’s according to a new survey from the pharmaceutical company, Merck. It found that more than a quarter of HIV-negative millennials surveyed have avoided hugging, talking to, or being friends with someone with HIV.

People in HIV education and treatment say that’s not surprising, and they’re calling for better messaging that meets the needs of younger generations. WXXI health reporter Brett Dahlberg analyzed the Merck survey, and he joins us to share his reporting. We also talk to experts from Trillium Health about how to address the stigma surrounding HIV.

In studio:

  • Brett Dahlberg, health reporter for WXXI News
  • Dr. Bill Valenti, M.D., chief of innovation, and staff physician at Trillium Health
  • Sam Jett, prevention navigator at Trillium Health
  • Matteo Ragusa, manager of procurement and cost analysis at Trillium Health who is living with HIV
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.
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