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The Man That AIDS Forgot: Safe Sex Architect Richard Berkowitz

July 3, 2010

The New York City of 1979 shown during the opening minutes of "Sex Positive," the documentary now available on DVD, is awash in gay sexual liberation. Male couples strut their stuff arm in arm, sporting biker jackets and cocky mustaches and bulges in their denim that strain credulity (no fashion era has ever screamed "gay porn" like this one). It's an almost quaint snapshot, in retrospect, taken just before the arrival of a major buzzkill in the form of a murderous pandemic.

Cruising amid the happy sleaze was gay S/M escort Richard Berkowitz (pictured, right), the man who would quickly and unwittingly become known as the "self hating enemy of gay people." And all because, the documentary contends, he tried to save their lives.

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See Also
Coverage of the 30th Anniversary of AIDS
20 Years of Magic: How One Man's HIV Disclosure Inspired Others
More on the History of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Kurtis (St Petersburg Fl) Tue., Aug. 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm EDT
I just watch Sex Positive, More than anything else was the "time capsule" of the news reports from 82-85 to see what was being said and not being said then.
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Comment by: TS (Miami) Mon., Jul. 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm EDT
I talked with Richard via Facebook; he is a man "before his time", so to speak. The HIV crisis we are having in FL with a waiting list to be on ADAP drugs is a wake-up call to everyone that is not practicing safe sex. If we as gay men cared enough about ourselfs we wouldn't be having this discussion. I should have cared more about myself to prevent this from happening to me.
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