"Why did she remain basically healthy from 1992 until just before her death?" asked David Crowe,
Good question David. Perhaps because 16 years isn't too far outside the normal progression for untreated HIV infection. At 10-15 years (depending on the study) she might have been classified as a long-term non-progressor (about 10% of people with HIV do), but then only if her CD4 counts were normal, and we have no idea about that. In one long-term followup of so-called LTNP's at 10 years, by 18 years of being HIV+ 86% of those LTNP's had progressed to AIDS. The strongest individual predictor of progression rates has consisently been viral load and/or anti-HIV killer T cell responses, so even reaching one breakpoint (10 year survival) doesn't easily predict the chances of reaching another (15 year survival).
This is all hand-waving though - the only facts are that someone lost a mother and someone lost a wife, and that's terrible. My personal thoughts are that this is a tragedy that might well have been preventable. She lays the blame herself squarely at the feet of one man:
"All that changed in 1994, she said, when she spoke to UC Berkeley biology professor Peter Duesberg..."And really, that's all I have to say on the matter. For what it's worth, I really, really hope that Robin and Charlie can find some kind of peace after this second loss. What a mess.