NEW YORK — His boyfriend was dying of a disease without a name.
Beginning in 1978, Stephen Crohn cared for Jerry Green, a gymnast, as he lost 30 pounds, went blind, and was ravaged by the kinds of infections that rarely harmed otherwise healthy people.
Green was one of the first people to die of the disease that became known as AIDS. In the ensuing years, scores of Crohn’s friends died of it. He had taken no special precautions, and he had been as sexually active as his friends. But he never got sick.
Stephen Crohn’s resistance helped lead to a deeper understanding of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and treatments, simply by staying alive and helping doctors to figure out why he was. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.