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September 24, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart" holds such an important place in the history of the AIDS epidemic, chronicling the stark early days, indicting the government for its inaction and challenging audiences to transform grief into activism, that it took me decades to appreciate the personal drama. The 2011 Broadway revival, directed by Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe and starring Joe Mantello as grass-roots crusader Ned Weeks, made devastatingly clear that beneath the agitprop was an emotionally searing character study.
September 21, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Three decades ago, when so many of his friends were dying of AIDS, Stephen Crohn wondered why he - a gay man whose longtime companion had been one of the first to die from the disease--had managed to avoid it. Was it just a matter of time before he caught the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS? Was there something wrong with the HIV antibody tests he took that always came back negative? Crohn, an artist and freelance editor, lived with the questions for 14 years before he finally learned the answer was in his genes.
August 23, 2013 | Sandy Banks
Marsha Jones Shoushtari went back to work on Tuesday, two weeks after her youngest child, her only son, died after being shot on Crenshaw Boulevard. But she can't escape the unfinished business that homicides entail. On Tuesday, police visited her office to return her son's cellphone, the "effects" of an 18-year-old. On Wednesday, she and husband Manochehr visited the cemetery to arrange for their son's burial; the coroner had just released the body. Interactive map and database: The Homicide Report  Through it all, some part of her is trying to believe this might not be real.
July 14, 2013
Re "Fitness is on rise - but so is obesity," July 11 When will we ever figure out that a direct cause of our nation's obesity crisis is that we no longer require students to learn food preparation and nutrition or to take a full program of physical education in our schools? Academics without real-world applications only prepare students to take standardized tests. The "new" Common Core curriculum standards do not include food preparation and nutrition, child development and physical education.
June 29, 2013 | By Jonathan Zimmerman
ACCRA, Ghana - On Thursday, my students and I visited a high school here in Ghana. When the headmistress told us that her students were "losing their culture" and "becoming too Western," we asked for an example. "Homosexuality," she said. "To us, it is an abomination. It comes from elsewhere. " That morning, coincidentally, President Obama was addressing the same issue at a news conference in Senegal. Asked about the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions in support of gay marriage, Obama acknowledged that Africans have "different customs" and "different traditions" about homosexuality.
March 9, 2013 | By Chris Woolston
Plantar fasciitis. If you haven't had to deal with it personally, just ask around. Chances are you know lots of people who can describe it in great detail: stabbing heel pain and agonizing steps followed by a frustratingly slow recovery. Plantar fasciitis - an inflammation of the plantar facsia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the arch from the heel to the toes - has become so ubiquitous that podiatrists can practically make the diagnosis before a patient even sets foot in their office.
February 20, 2013 | By Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - In the 30 years that David France, director of the Oscar-nominated AIDS activism documentary "How to Survive a Plague," has lived at the corner of 7th Street and Avenue C, the neighborhood has transformed dramatically. During the worst years of the epidemic in the 1980s, death pervaded this far corner of the East Village. "It was inescapable. You would see people who were skinny, skinny skeletons trying to catch their breath, wheelchairs with men in their 20s, the KS [Kaposi's sarcoma]
January 25, 2013 | By Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times
In a move to stem the epidemic of prescription drug deaths, a federal advisory panel has recommended tighter controls on a narcotic painkiller best known by the brand name Vicodin. It is the nation's most widely prescribed drug. By a 19-to-10 vote, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended Friday that the agency reclassify hydrocodone, the active ingredient in Vicodin, as a Schedule II narcotic, placing it in the same category as other widely abused medications, including OxyContin and fentanyl.
January 7, 2013
Prescription drug overdoses killed more than 37,000 Americans in 2009, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control; that death rate has tripled since 1990. The increase is not surprising, considering these additional CDC statistics: The number of prescriptions for painkillers has more than quadrupled since 1999, and more than 12 million Americans reported using prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons during 2010. In emergency rooms, more than 1 million patients were treated in 2009 for problems involving prescription painkillers or psychotherapeutic drugs such as anti-anxiety and sleep medications.
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