Archive for the 3. STAYIN’ ALIVE: My Book Category


Posted in 3. STAYIN' ALIVE: My Book on June 28, 2010 by Richard Berkowitz

Book Jacket, First Edition, Westview Press, 2003


Praise for STAYIN’ ALIVE: The Invention of Safe Sex (2003)

[A] “compellingly readable memoir.”

The Advocate

“Richard Berkowitz is an intelligent and perceptive commentator on the gay scene, an AIDS activist of many years standing, a pioneer in the field of safe sex practices, a thoroughgoing mensch and a good writer.”

Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America

“Frank, funny, sexy and invaluable, Richard Berkowitz’s Stayin’ Alive is a must-read for anyone interested in the story of sex in 20th century America. A heart-poundingly heroic memoir.”

David Drake, author of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me

“Richard Berkowitz offers eloquent and invaluable testimony from the earliest days of AIDS.  Rather than looking on in horror, he did something that changed the course of the disease. Ironically, in conceiving safe sex, Berkowitz [with Dr. Joseph Sonnabend and Michael Callen] discovered a home truth gay men needed and need to embrace: we are our brother’s keeper.”

Kevin Bentley, author of Wild Animals I Have Known

“Reading his story, one has the sense that this is not a book, it is a conversation. Even more, it is a life. His, yours, and countless others. Whether you are gay or straight, male or female, HIV-positive or HIV-negative, Stayin’ Alive is a lesson in strength, courage, and most significantly, empowerment.”

Arts & Understanding

“Berkowitz paints a vivid, surprising history…This book is required reading for anyone trying to understand the ideological divide between risk reduction and abstinence.”

POZ Magazine

Stayin’ Alive is a compelling memoir by a gay man who co-wrote How to Have Sex in an Epidemic, which was the first safe sex manual published in 1983. That was a controversial book in its day, and Stayin’ Alive will be no less so twenty years later.  Berkowitz is a truth-teller, and while the truth may set you free, it may also cause considerable consternation when let loose.”

Ian Young, Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide

Book cover, paperback edition, 2008

[Thanks to a grant from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS & Tom Viola, I was able to produce a paperback version of my book with illustrations.  Signed copies can be obtained ($15.00) by writing to me at or via Paypal.