“How to Have Sex in an Epidemic” (May 1983)

Gay Press Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Projects, 1983.

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“It was How to Have Sex in an Epidemic…that pioneered the approach to safer sex which we recognize today. By deducing a means by which gay men could continue to ‘have sex in an epidemic’ but take rational precautions to make that sex safer, [Richard Berkowitz and Michael Callen, under the scientific supervision of their physician, Dr. Joseph Sonnabend] provided the model for safer sex campaigns ever since.”

Edward King, author of Safety in Numbers


“This is the sanest, most sensible advice I’ve read yet about AIDS.”

Edmund White, author of States of Desire, Genet


“At last: a response to the effect of AIDS on our lives that goes beyond fears and myths to suggest positive actions.”

Dennis Altman, author of Gore Vidal’s America


“Particularly well-done.”

Village Voice


“It urges a sensible restriction of sex among currently promiscuous homosexual males.”

New York Review of Books


“The useful thing about it is that it is precisely about how to have sex, not a warning not to.”

Body Politic (Toronto)


“The only literature yet produced by this particular crisis in human affairs, is this touchingly funny, very instructive 40-page pamphlet.”

— Peter Fisher, author of AIDS: Your Questions Answered


“Sympathetic…their recommendations are appropriate for all sexually active people.”

Frontiers Magazine

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The text of “HOW TO HAVE SEX IN AN EPIDEMIC: One Approach”

Click each thumbnail below from (left to right) to enlarge and read:

— The End —

Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, Michael Callen & me, 1993

7 Responses to ““How to Have Sex in an Epidemic” (May 1983)”

  1. Tom Burns Says:

    It is amazing the power and allure that sex has over the human race. It has perpetuated our species for so for very long. But when we damn truth to pursue sex exclusively without truth, then truth will damn us in the end. ~

    Your 1993 photo is so amazing. All of your eyes speak such great truth. One can see it. Thank you for choosing to tell the Truth Mr. Berkowitz while others would not. Your documentary . . . just more great Truth. Thank you very much.

  2. Thank you for all the work you have done for the gay community and broader community as a whole. It saved my life from a lot of struggle and heart ache.

    Peace,
    Justin

  3. [...] story of Richard Berkowitz – who was the co-author of one of the first safe sex pamphlets – How to Have Sex in an Epidemic: One Approach – written before GRID/AIDS was connected to HIV.  He was a hustler and a no shit taking [...]

  4. TIMOTHY LUNCEFORD Says:

    THANK YOU MICHAEL, JOE, AND RICHARD. TO KNOW YOU ALL HAS BEEN A BLESSING. TO KNOW YOU CARED AS MUCH AS I DID TO SAVE OUR COMMUNITY IS PRICELESS. JOE I MISS YOU WHILE YOU ARE IN LONDON. MICHAEL I MISS YOU IN AFTERLIFE. RICHARD I AM SORRY WE HAVE LOST CONTACT WITH EACH OTHER. I HOPE TO TALK TO YOU AND JOE REAL SOON. – TIMOTHY

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