I think that Gandalf makes a good point. The initial response by the Federal government to AIDS was pitiful, due in no small part to the massive shift of Research & Development funds from civilian to defense. Before Reagan's presidency, the split was 50/50 between civilian and defense, and after it was 75/25. This effectively gutted biomedical research programs at the National Institutes of Health, and also the Centers for Disease control. If there had been decent budgets in the '80's for AIDS, then the highly-effective antiviral therapies for HIV would have been developed then, and not in the mid-90's. Then too, we are only now making good progress with anti-Alzheimer therapies that could have helped Reagan's disease in its early stages. These too would have been available, if only Reagan wouldn't have devastated those civilian R&D budgets. It's always the enemy that you don't suspect that does you in.