News Release: Research

Jul. 21,  2009

Atlanta Screening of "Sex Positive" Documentary Benefits Emory Vaccine Center, Positive Impact

News Article ImageFull details on the movie available at

Tickets are now on sale for Atlanta's only screening of the new documentary film "Sex Positive," declared by the New York Times as "a polemic against societal amnesia." The film, directed by Daryl Wein, will benefit HIV/AIDS vaccine research at the Emory Vaccine Center and HIV prevention counseling and mental health services provided by Positive Impact.

The screening takes place Saturday, Aug. 29, 7-11 p.m. at the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts. A pre-event reception begins at 7 p.m., with portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt on display. The program begins at 8 p.m. The film's subject, Richard Berkowitz, will be in attendance.

Tickets are $30 each, with $50 priority seating available. Priority seating includes a post-event reception at the W Downtown, with an opportunity to meet Richard Berkowitz. Student tickets are $10 with current, valid student ID. As the documentary is rated R, attendees must be at least 17 years old. Tickets may be purchased at

Currently in the United States, someone becomes HIV positive every nine-and-a-half minutes, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 56,000 Americans become newly infected with HIV each year and half of new HIV infections are in people under the age of 25. One in five of those infected are unaware of their HIV status. More than 14,000 people with AIDS still die each year in the United States.

"Sex Positive" contains a timely message from the early history of AIDS. "One of the reasons I made this film was to help educate people about the history of safe sex so that we can learn from our mistakes in the past and continue to make improvements in the future," says director Daryl Wein.

The documentary tells the story of a little-known chapter in the history of AIDS before scientists knew its cause or how it was transmitted. The film's subject, Richard Berkowitz, was a hustler in New York City who became an unlikely safe-sex advocate and co-author of the first safe sex manual, Stayin' Alive: The Invention of Safe Sex.

The San Francisco Chronicle gave "Sex Positive" four stars and called it "superb." The film was an official selection at the London International Film Festival and a grand jury winner at the Los Angeles Outfest Film Festival. The film was released in theaters in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but this screening event is the only opportunity to see "Sex Positive" in an Atlanta theater.

The Emory Vaccine Center ( is working to find effective vaccines that prevent HIV infection and new therapeutic vaccines that offer an alternative to drug therapies in people already infected. Positive Impact offers testing, counseling and mental health services with the dual goal of HIV prevention and keeping people mentally and physically healthy.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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