Stephen Crohn, “The Man Who Can’t Catch AIDS,” took his own life late last month in New York at the age of 66.
Crohn’s white blood cells had a genetic defect that made him resistant to AIDS even when tested with “HIV concentrations thousands of times greater than would be encountered outside a test tube,” according to Dr. Bill Paxton of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York.
Scientists found that Crohn’s white blood cells resisted infection when exposed to HIV, due to a rare genetic defect.
“My brother saw all of his friends dying, and he didn’t die,” Amy Crohn, Stephen’s sister, explained to the New York Times. “He went through a tremendous amount of survivor guilt about that and said to himself, ‘There’s got to be a reason.’ ”
In 1996, British newspaper The Independent called Crohn “The Man Who Can’t Catch AIDS” – a title that came to define his life as he subsequently was the focus of documentary films and newspaper articles around the world.
Read more: NY Daily News
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