Longer reads: HIV secrets, millennials’ mental health and sleeping pills without side effects

Every week reporter Ankita Rao selects interesting reading from around the Web.

ProPublica: Sex, Lies And HIV: When What You Don’t Tell Your Partner Is A Crime
Nick Rhoades was clerking at a Family Video store in Waverly, Iowa, one summer afternoon in 2008 when three armed detectives appeared, escorted him to a local hospital and ordered nurses to draw his blood. …His crime: having sex without first disclosing he had HIV. … The man Rhoades had sex with, 22-year-old Adam Plendl, had not contracted the virus. That’s not a surprise, because Rhoades used a condom (Sergio Hernandez, 12/1).

The Atlantic: The Secret Life Of Grief
My mom died on July 18, 2013, of pancreatic cancer, a subtle blade that slips into the host so imperceptibly that by the time a presence is felt, it is almost always too late. Living about 16 months after her diagnosis, she was “lucky,” at least by the new standards of the parallel universe of cancer world. We were all lucky and unlucky in this way. Having time to watch a loved one die is a gift that takes more than it gives. … For some, grief is a dull and unrelenting ache that fades-;or doesn’t. But for many of us, grief is something else. Grief is resilience (Derek Thompson, 12/3).

Slate: Why Millenials Can’t Grow Up
Amy (not her real name) sat in my office and wiped her streaming tears on her sleeve, refusing the scratchy tissues I’d offered. “I’m thinking about just applying for a Ph.D. program after I graduate because I have no idea what I want to do.” Amy had mild depression growing up, and it worsened during freshman year of college when she moved from her parents’ house to her dorm. … Her case is becoming the norm for twenty- to thirtysomethings I see in my office as a psychotherapist. I’ve had at least 100 college and grad students like Amy crying on my couch because breaching adulthood is too overwhelming. … Rates of depression are soaring among millennials in college (Brooke Donatone, 12/5).

The New Yorker: The Big Sleep
One evening in late May, four senior employees of Merck, the pharmaceutical company, sat in the bar of a Hilton Hotel in Rockville, Maryland, wearing metal lapel pins stamped with the word “team.” They were in a state of exhausted overpreparedness. The next morning, they were to drive a few miles to the headquarters of the Food and Drug Administration and attend a meeting that would decide the future of suvorexant, a new sleeping pill that the company had been developing for a decade. Merck’s team hoped to persuade a committee of seventeen, composed largely of neurologists, that suvorexant was safe and effective (Ian Parker, 12/9).

Indianapolis Monthly: Susan Cox Is No Longer Here
She was 52, homeless, and cancer-stricken. A group of devoted strangers vowed that she would not die alone. And then something miraculous happened. One woman’s beautiful, strange, and troubling final days. … It all began in the middle of August, with a phone call from Wishard Memorial Hospital, the city hospital of Indianapolis, informing me that I needed to hurry to meet a woman who was dying. She didn’t have much time left. A few weeks before, I had inquired about visiting a patient in the hospital’s months-old No One Dies Alone program, NODA for short, essentially a bedside vigil to provide a loving environment for people who otherwise have no one else (Justin Heckert, 12/2).

Quartz: Sick Iranians Are Struggling To Get Life-Saving Meds. US Legislators Plan To Make It Even Harder
Not a month after a breakthrough in nuclear negotiations with Iran, US legislators are pushing for a fresh round of sanctions. The bill will punish Iran should it flout the nuclear agreement’s six-month deadline for curbing uranium enrichment and allowing more inspections. … Six years of sanctions have throttled Iran’s supply of essential drugs, causing an acute shortage of things like antibiotics and vaccines, as well more advanced drugs (Gwynn Guilford, 12/3).