Monday, May 11, 2009

Sex +

Quad Cinema - NYC, NY 6/12/09
Unfortunately I can't embed the trailer because the option has been disabled but here's the link to the official trailer.

Here's the official Website

And here's a little synopsis and comment from Richard Berkowitz:

SEX POSITIVE explores the life of Richard Berkowitz, a revolutionary gay S&M- hustler-turned-AIDS activist in the 1980s, whose incomparable contribution to the invention of safe sex has never been aptly credited. Berkowitz emerged from the epicenter of the epidemic as a community leader, demanding a solution to the problem before anyone else would pay attention. However, it was not Berkowitz' voice alone that sparked contention.

Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, a controversial virologist and AIDS doctor, postulated that AIDS was more complicated than just a new virus. With Sonnabend's theory in tow, Berkowitz fought, alongside beloved activist and musician Michael Callen, for safer sex practices without giving up on sex altogether.

SEX POSITIVE explores the explicit bravery of this unrecognized triumvirate, and their dire quest to save lives in the midst of unwavering dissent. Now destitute and alone, Mr. Berkowitz tells his story to a world who never wanted to listen.

Through the eyes of Mr. Berkowitz, the audience is made witness to a graphic testimony of sex, death, and betrayal, while placing the invention of ‘safe sex’ in a fresh and compelling context.

From Berkowitz:
I always hoped that my book Stayin' Alive: The Invention of Safe Sex would spark interest in a new generation--I just never expected it would come from a young guy who happens to be straight.

The Bush years have been a trying time for many Americans, but for those concerned with HIV prevention, it has been a disaster. Ever since George W. Bush took office in 2001 and replaced safe sex education with abstinence programs, HIV infection rates have climbed as reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Unfortunately, the past two years, 2005 and 2006 have been the worst. If anything good can come out of this tragedy, it would be that we now have ample evidence that abstinence programs do not work.

The media has barely taken notice, and I'm hoping that SEX POSITIVE will sound the alarm. If the media needs a hook, here's a great one: May 2008 marks the 25th anniversary of the invention of safe sex.

Unfortunately, these aren’t good times for those involved in safe sex education. It doesn’t bode well that even though everyone has heard of safe sex, hardly anyone knows where it came from. Safe sex came from activists, porn stars, sex workers and their community driven efforts. That's what we've lost over the years and that's why I'm hoping people will learn from this very timely film.

10 comments:

the zak said...

The correct term is always... safer
There's never zero risk.

Let's get tested 2GETHER B4 we have sex, for A VARIETY of STDs.

Post sex STD tests are a strategy--but what do they cause a person to do? Give up sex? Have less sex? Have more sex in order to "get even"?

Testing before sex is a way to keep some sex from happening, and, consequently, prevent an STD. Post sex STD tests don't do that. Pre sex STD tests will save some lives--some people will back out of the possibility of sex with that partner. Others may be way more cautious. Still others might wait for non-HIV STDs to be cured, if available.

RichBerkowitz said...

Actually, there is safe (no "r") sex AND safer sex, but I wont go into it here.

the zak said...

What do you consider to be safer sex?...

Do sex partners always agree on what are so called safer sex practices?...

Do sex partners agree on what are so called safer sex practices when one of them finds another sexual opportunity with somebody else?...

How can there be so called safer sex when not everybody agrees on what are so called safer sex practices?...

the zak said...

http://www.iwantthekit.org/

the zak said...

Have you observed potential sex partners coming in saying we haven't had sex yet and want to get tested TOGETHER?...

>
http://www.stdpreventiononline.org/
index.php/forum/posts/35,15
> Testing
> Absolutely! I've heard it over my years in this field and I suggest doing it in my risk reduction portion of my DIS or HIV counseling interviews. I also train new DIS [Disease Intervention Specialist] to include it instead of simply focusing on condoms. Too many counselors/DIS focus only on condom use. There needs to be alternative discussions, since condom use is not realistic for everyone!
>
>
> definitely
> That's a lot of what our clinic does, yes. And of course we applaud it!
>
>
> Partners Testing before Starting a Sexual Relationship
> While I routinely advise patients to bring their new partners into STD Clinic I have only had one couple that mentioned they specifically came to the clinic for that reason. A young MSM couple in their early 20s. After both received an evaluation, they went on to get Rapid HIV tested. One of the partners was Reactive and the venous draw was confirmed. It put such a cloud over "Doing the Right Thing." I still recommend it and now utilize this example with patients coming into clinic as to the importance of knowing not only their STD status but also their HIV status.
>
>
> Of Course
> All the time! The last time it happened it was an elderly couple who were both ready to have sex, and get married. They just wanted to make sure that they both were HIV free. It was cool because I also gave them some really good information about transmission and older adults which they volunteered to give to friends.
>
>
> Potential partners attending together
> Absolutely! It's quite a common reason for attendance at Australian Sexual Health Clinics (my experience is with public free clinics, but I think it's the same in private clinics). Here in Cairns I have seen many over my years working here. It's important to establish ground rules over results though first up and whether both members of the partnership are happy to let partners know their results! When I first encountered a young 'heterosexual' couple quite a few years ago who attended for this reason (when it was less common) and requested a joint consultation and testing, we hadn't discussed that the delivery of results would have to be separate; the young man's HIV result came back unexpectedly positive (and it subsequently became clear he was bisexual and had had more experience and some unsafe sex with other males than with females - a fact he hadn't disclosed in the initial joint consultation)! The result giving required delicate handling and in the event it worked out OK in that he was keen for the prospective female partner to know his result, but the whole event would have been much better handled if I'd laid some ground rules from the start! I learned a valuable lesson!! Cheers
>
>
> Observing potential sex partners getting tested together.
> YES...On the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month I run a "youth only" test site and I have seen men and women, who are with their partners come in and get tested together. I highly encourage that among the youth. That helps them come up with ways together to reduce their risks of contracting not only HIV but STD's as well.
>
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> testing together
> As a health educator, I recommend this to the teens I work with. I think it shows that each partner sees this as a normal step in any relationship that is going to become sexual. Also, even if one person knows their STI status, they volunteer to go with their partner and also be tested so that testing doesn't become a lack of trust issue.
http://www.stdpreventiononline.org/
index.php/forum/posts/35,15
>

the zak said...

Have you observed potential sex partners coming in saying we haven't had sex yet and want to get tested TOGETHER?...

>
http://www.stdpreventiononline.org/
index.php/forum/posts/35,15
> testing before sex
> Yes, at my private STD clinic we see this all the time! A large part of our practice is testing people who have no symptoms, but wish to begin a sexual relationship knowing what one "brings to the table".
>
>
> 1st date at the Health Department
> I have seen two over the last year- both have come from group presentations on STD/HIV by a DIS. In both cases, it was the women generating the appointments and noting that the STD presentation made such an impact that testing for both of them made sense. Here is some of the logic used: - you don't know where your potential partner has been - you don't know if your potential partner ahs an infection and it is asyptomatic - such an offer (to get tested) is a great discriminator... if the potential partner has a fit- then get rid of them now- before you have sex - the subject promotes an honest discussion about sex and sexual history BEFORE exposure - testing as a couple implies a committment and level of concern about each other BEFORE sex - reinforces that sex is not the relationship but is something that can be planned as part of a relationship
>
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> HIV Testing
> We are more likely to get partners who say they want to stop using condoms and come in for testing to be certain each is HIV negative.
>
>
> partners testing together prior to sex
> I have, but not that often. My recolition over the past 10 years I would say approxamently a dozen couples of all ages,
http://www.stdpreventiononline.org/
index.php/forum/posts/35,15
>

the zak said...

Post sex STD tests are a strategy--but what do they cause a person to do? Give up sex? Have less sex? Have more sex in order to "get even"?

Testing before sex is a way to keep some sex from happening, and, consequently, prevent an STD. Post sex STD tests don't do that. Pre sex STD tests will save some lives--some people will back out of the possibility of sex with that partner. Others may be way more cautious. Still others might wait for non-HIV STDs to be cured, if available

Jamest42 said...

Richard Berkowitz is nothing but a crackhead who wants to pretend he somehow helped bisexual and gay men when in his stupid book and the horribly made documentary about him he claims that "Tops never got HIV" and that "Nobody ever got HIV from giving oral sex" and that is total BS.

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