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AIDS

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A dentist drives through the dark alleyways of New Jersey in the dead of winter, visiting morgues where he cuts out bones, slices out tendons and peels off layers of skin from corpses. With coolers packed with human flesh, he then drives to a smoking factory where the body parts are turned into things that are put into other people's bodies, without them ever knowing.

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From Darhoon Menghwar, of the Daily Ibrat, a Sindhi newspaper in Hyderabad, Sindh province, Pakistan, who attended a Thomson Reuters Foundation “Reporting HIV/AIDS” course in Bangkok in 2008

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From Darhoon Menghwar, of the Daily Ibrat, a Sindhi newspaper in Hyderabad, Sindh province, Pakistan, who attended a Thomson Reuters Foundation “Reporting HIV/AIDS” course in Bangkok in 2008.

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This story talks about how agencies working on HIV and AIDS prevention efforts in Chicago have to rely on dated records on the disease's prevalence while the Chicago Department of Public Health labors to release the latest epidemiological data.

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Drug companies are looking outside their own labs for new products

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Six of the world's biggest drug companies are about to be winnowed down to three. If all the mergers go through, we will have Pfizer-Wyeth, Merck-Schering-Plough and Roche-Genentech controlling more than $100 billion in drug sales every year - amounting to one seventh of all revenues for drug companies worldwide. (I wrote a story about this a couple weeks ago for the Los Angeles Times.)

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Update: Dr. Gupta removed himself from the list of candidates on March 5, telling CNN's Larry King, "I think for me it really came down to a sense of timing more than anything else. This job...takes us away from our children for so many years at once, and I sort of came to grips that I'd probably be away for several years of their lives."

Dr. Sanjay Gupta appears to be the first surgeon general picked not for his public service but for his public image.

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This population is a diverse community with disparate health problems. Men who have sex with men, regardless of whether they identify themselves as gay, bisexual or heterosexual, made up nearly two-thirds of all men living with HIV or AIDS in the United States, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control study in August 2008, the most recent estimate as of February 2010. Gay male adolescents are two or three times more likely than their peers to attempt suicide, according to the CDC.

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Although some international health indicators have improved substantially in the last decade, poverty, conflict, lack of access to health care and/or education, poor sterilization techniques, evolving human migration patterns, unsafe water, new infectious agents and changing development activities all contribute to what seems a dismal global health climate.

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Yvette Flores-Ortiz is an associate professor of Chicana/o studies at UC Davis. She is an expert on Latino mental health issues, including adolescence, aging, violence, self-esteem, AIDS prevention, substance abuse and sexuality. Flores-Ortiz has studied eating disorders among Mexican-American women and conflict among married couples, among other community mental health issues. For the past two decades, Flores-Ortiz has worked as a research psychologist, university professor and licensed psychologist.

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