The man who’s natural resistance to AIDS helped further the study of the disease has died aged 66.
Stephen Crohn has died aged 66 in New York City, the cause is being reported as suicide by his sister Amy Crohn Santagata who confirmed that he died on the 23rd August.
In 1978 his boyfriend Jerry Greenwood was dying of a disease which hadn’t yet been named – and would eventually be one of the first gay men in the US to die of what would be later be named as AIDS.
Mr. Crohn watched as dozens of his friends succumbed to this new disease which ravaged the gay community in the late 70s and well into the 80s. Yet, Mr. Crohn said that he had been as sexually active as his friends and had taken no special precautions.
However, Mr. Crohn had a natural resistance to the disease and this led to deeper comprehension and learning about HIV – the virus which causes AIDS.
He worked throughout his life to help doctors and scientists understand the virus and disease better.
His resistance to AIDS made him somewhat of a celebrity, with the Independent naming him “The Man Who Can’t Catch AIDS” in an article in March 1996. His story was told in documentaries and interviews around the world.
He was a freelance editor for Fodor’s Travel and an artist.
Speaking to the New York Times Ms. Santagata said,
“My brother saw all his friends around him dying, and he didn’t die,
“He went through a tremendous amount of survivor guilt about that and said to himself, ‘There’s got to be a reason.’
“He was quite extraordinary, and then also quite ordinary,” she said.
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