AIDS/HIV | Deaths | News

Stephen Crohn, 'The Man Who Can't Catch AIDS', Took His Own Life: VIDEO


Stephen Crohn, whose genetic resistance to the HIV virus facilitated further study of AIDS and how the virus attacks the body, died by suicide in August at the age of 66, the NYT reports:

Mr. Crohn’s immune system and its quirks earned him unsought renown. In 1996, the British newspaper The Independent called him “The Man Who Can’t Catch AIDS,” and he told his story in documentary films and newspaper interviews around the world....

Mr. Crohn felt he was carrying on “his family’s tradition” by helping researchers, said Dr. Paxton, now a professor of infection and immunity at the University of Liverpool Institute of Infection and Global Health.

The research based on Mr. Crohn’s immune system has led to advances in fighting H.I.V. A drug that blocks the CCR5 receptor, maraviroc, is now used to keep infection from spreading in patients who have contracted the virus. And in 2006, an AIDS patient in Berlin was effectively cured of the disease after receiving bone marrow transplants from a matching donor who had the delta 32 mutation.

“This is a classic case of medical science learning from patients,” said Dr. Walker of the Ragon Institute. “Most of the immunology we know comes from studying other animal models,” he said. “We need to study humans who have real diseases.”

Crohn's boyfriend Jerry Green, who contracted HIV in the late 70's, was one of the first to die from AIDS-related causes.

Watch an excerpt from NOVA: Surviving AIDS, about the work done by Drs. David Ho and Stephen O'Brien, with patients Steve Crohn and others, AFTER THE JUMP...

More at the NYT.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Tragic.

    Posted by: yuninv | Sep 16, 2013 8:37:12 AM

  2. That's awful. I thank him for helping researchers. Rest in Peace.

    Posted by: Graphicjack | Sep 16, 2013 9:32:32 AM

  3. hope he left his body to science.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Sep 16, 2013 10:51:55 AM

  4. R.I.P.

    agreed fenrox

    Posted by: Moz's | Sep 16, 2013 11:09:53 AM

  5. Why'd he do it?

    Posted by: Zeta | Sep 16, 2013 11:55:57 AM

  6. Everyone has the right to choose their own time to die. How they come to that decision is valid for them, which is enough.

    I hope he felt he'd lived a good and worthwhile life at the end, and that he ended quickly.

    Posted by: E. Carpenter | Sep 16, 2013 1:58:00 PM

  7. @ Fenrox & Moz’s: Gays are not allowed to donate their body, or organs, or blood, or sperm, under any circumstances. I’m sure in this case an exception was made, though.

    Posted by: Coyfox | Sep 16, 2013 6:29:20 PM

  8. coyfox; given that finding a real cure and effective treatments would hinge upon studying the people most impacted by hiv/aids, what does it tell you that they don't bother ?

    Someday people will wake up to the scam that is hiv/aids. Billions spent and more studies than on anything else and we still keep supporting the greatest medical fraud of all time.

    Posted by: sickened | Sep 16, 2013 7:57:51 PM

  9. A quick search for cadaver donation (no transplants, only used for dissection) prohibits donation for patients with a history of HIV, IVDU, and hepatatis B or C, but no specific mention of sexual history. Private donation (e.g. to friend or family member, research institution, or to a private sperm storage facility that you pay for yourself) doesn't prohibit based on sexual activity - I've done it myself. Similarly, autologous donation has no prohibitions. There is no ban on lesbians who wish to donate. The CCR5 mutation is very common as mutations go (almost 1% of European men), so there is no short supply of donors for this particular medical phenomenon.

    Posted by: Yeek | Sep 16, 2013 8:59:35 PM

  10. I find this interesting and surprising. Way back in time, I was misdiagnosed with "this new gay cancer" which they eventually called AIDS. This was in San Francisco. I assured them that wasn't the problem and that the doctors at Washington Hospital Center would be able to put Hagatha back together again. Hagatha was down to 128 pounds and it wasn't pretty. Upon my return to health and San francisco I got a call from my doctor at USF who wanted to talk to me about my ancestry. Upon discovering that my family is well documented and endogamous for centuries he was sure that there was something to my genetic make up which explained why I didn't have "gay cancer". He knew me well enough to know that I should have it, but I didn't.

    Anyway, we spoke about it one more time and he said that they hadn't assembled the study group yet, he was killed in a car accident shortly after that. I had always assumed that they dropped the "some people (He called us Northumberland People) are immune" study because they didn't want people deciding that they were immune and going out and catching and spreading all sorts of things.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Sep 16, 2013 9:07:51 PM

  11. While still very sad, can't help but point out the irony here. Also interesting that his last name is also the name of another disease.

    Posted by: wheelie81 | Sep 17, 2013 4:22:27 AM

Post a comment


« «UK and Scottish Footballers to Wear Rainbow Laces as Show of Support for Gay Players« «