I remember gay sex in the 1970s.  I came out in 1972 at age 17. Rich arrives NYC 1979 tvguideNew York City, 1979

When I moved to NYC six years later, I became immersed in gay men’s sexual subculture as a participant, activist and sex worker.  This propelled my efforts at writing and activism.Rich solo at 83 Vigil w picket signs CRPD1st Natl. AIDS Vigil,Oct. 1983,Washington, D,C.

This website contains many of my key writings and collaborations from that era. This includes the invention of safe sex for AIDS and the Denver Principles, which launched a worldwide movement for patient empowerment. The original text of HOW TO HAVE SEX IN AN EPIDEMIC is here.

I created this website (see post below) to focus on safe sex issues and to promote Daryl Wein’s documentary, SEX POSITIVE, about how safe sex began.  New technologies keep changing what safe sex issues are.  They will probably continue to do so.  Still, as a resource and archive into the past, this website remains useful to writers, researchers and filmmakers. I thank them for their support and encouragement.



Birth: October 6, 1955, Newark, New Jersey

Education: Rutgers University, B.A. 1977

                   New York University, Grad. Institute of Film & TV, 1977-78

Author: Co-Author, How to Have Sex in an Epidemic, (1983)

             Co-Author, The Denver Principles (1983)

             Author, Stayin’ Alive: The Invention of Safe Sex, (2003)

Organizations: Co-Founder, Gay Men with AIDS (1982)

                         Founding Member, Amfar (Internal Review Board, 1983)

                         Member, New York Coalition for Sexual Safety (1985)

Documentary Appearances:


Sex in an Epidemic


The Battle of Amfar

Killing Patient Zero

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Richard Berkowitz

New York City

For more information: RichBerkowitzNYC@gmail.com


ROW 1 with banner: Phil Lanzarratta, Rich Berkowitz, Tom Nasrallah, Mathew Sarner, Bobby Reynolds, Artie Felson.  ROW 2: Bill Burke, Dan Turner, Mike Callen, Bobbi Campbell, Bob Checci.

   The co-founders of the People with AIDS Self-empowerment movement and authors of the Denver Principles

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Welcome. ¡Bienvenido! Bienvenu. Willkommen. 欢迎.  שׁלום. Приветствовать. 歓迎. Dobrodošli. ترحيب. .  רצוי.   *[Puede leer este pagina en español al final.]

Since SEX POSITIVE began making the film festival rounds in 2008, I’ve traveled to 16 cities and many universities to answer questions following screenings.  Now that SEX POSITIVE is available on DVD, I’ve been receiving fascinating emails from people around the world.  Safe sex education has gone awry in many places, but what I learned on my travels is that there’s hope in the wisdom of ordinary people who’ve figured out on their own what they need to do to stay safe.

Many questions people have could be answered best by posting my safe sex archives here online.  That way, people can draw their own conclusions.  In addition to providing a front-line look at what happened when safe sex began, I hope that, in time, this archive/blog will be a useful research resource and help inform sexually active people to navigate their own journeys.

Since this is about sex, beware of graphic content. I’ve posted the booklet HOW TO HAVE SEX IN AN EPIDEMIC; feel free to read it.  It’s guidelines stand the test of time, even though it was written specifically for gay men at risk and before HIV was discovered.

In these difficult economic times, more people are discovering what many poor people have always known:  Sex is not only one of life’s greatest joys—it’s one almost everyone can afford.  That makes the history of the invention of safe sex as timely as ever.  Sexuality in America has been a battleground since the Puritans arrived.  Sadly, that spirit is alive and well today in the ongoing efforts to undermine sex education in America.

I’m interested in public speaking related to the history of safe sex and SEX POSITIVE. Please let me know if you have an idea.  Here’s one video clip of me speaking primarily to gay men at a screening/fundraiser.

For more information, contact me at: RichBerkowitzNYC@gmail.com

Richard Berkowitz
June 17, 2010

Logo designed by Kim Doria

En español: (traducción por Cecilia Lapellegrina)

Desde que Sex Positive (Sexo Positivo) salió en DVD este mes, estuve recibiendo correos fascinantes de gente de todo el mundo que lo ha visto. He viajando a 16 ciudades y un número creciente de universidades desde que Sex Positive (Sexo Positivo) empezó a ser promocionado en los festivales de cine en 2007. Me he dado cuenta de que las preguntas que la gente tiene pueden ser mejor respondidas si publico mis archivos de sexo seguro online. De esta manera, la gente puede sacar sus propias conclusiones.

Porque me parece una manera organizada de comenzar, empezaré este archivo con mi trabajo e historia personal. Cuando eso este hecho, iré agregando el trabajo de otros. Ya que esto se trata de sexo, sean precavidos del contenido.

Además de proporcionar una mirada de primera línea a lo que pasó cuando comenzó el sexo seguro, espero que con el tiempo, este archivo / blog sea un recurso valioso para la investigación. Si tienes algún comentario, puedes enviarme un correo electrónico o publicarlos al final de “ SEXO POSITIVO (SEX POSITIVE): el filme de Daryl Wein”: https://richardberkowitz.wordpress.com/?cat=38085386

Para mayor información contactarme a: RichBerkowitzNYC@gmail.com