Full Blown

by Anita Sullivan
HIV virus


Roz is 30 years old, middle class, clean living and healthy. But she starts to suspect something isn't right. It starts with a cough, which her GP tells her is just a cold. But soon she is unable to go to work, climb the stairs, or even to breathe. The doctor on the chest ward diagnoses pneumonia: she'll be home in a week. But fortnight later she is in intensive care, fighting for her life. The blood-test confirms the unthinkable. She is HIV+ and she has full-blown AIDS.

Roz lives. And modern medicine even promises her a future. She should be delighted. She can go back to work. She can even make plans for her wedding. But as she recovers she discovers survival is much more complicated than death. There are questions she needs to ask of her past.

'Full Blown' was broadcast as the Friday Play on the 28th of November 2003, for World AIDS Day. It was produced by Sweet Talk and directed by Karen Rose. Starring Claire Skinner, with Charlie Simpson, Daniel Ryan and Cliver Wedderburn. Sound design by David Thomas.

Shortlisted for the Richard Imison Memorial Award. A stage adaptation of the radio play was commissioned by the Drum Theatre Plymouth. See 'Pricked'.

Duration: 1 hour


[Present tense narration: in her imagination. Suburban residential street, night, winter. Roz's feet walking briskly on the pavement]

ROZ -[Narration] I imagine I am walking a tree-lined street, counting house-numbers. At a gap in the privet I stop. Is this it? The grey BMW isn't there. But maybe he's got a different car now. I open the gate, and walk up the drive. Ppast immaculate roses. Up to a blue front door. I raise a hand to the doorbell.


ROZ -[Narration] I listen. Wait. A familiar shape shadows the frosted glass… Door opens

DUNCAN -Hi. Roz! What brings you here?

ROZ -Oh just passing. You know.

DUNCAN -Uh… How are you?

ROZ -Fine

DUNCAN -You look terrific.

ROZ -Thank you, Duncan. I lost a third of my body-weight. Secondary infections. How's your wife?

ROZ -[Narration]No, no, that's all wrong try again. Doorbell.

DUNCAN -Hi. Roz! What brings you here?

[Church chords]

ROZ -[Choral voice] I am an avenging angel, slaying injustice with a fiery sword.

ROZ -[Narration] This isn't going very well.

DUNCAN -How are you?

ROZ -[Narration] I imagine I am standing on the threshold, trying to cram all the events of the last year, all the questions, into one sentence.

DUNCAN -How are you?

ROZ -I think you know exactly how I am.


National Aids Trust: http://www.nat.org.uk/hiv-facts.aspx

AVERT International HIV charity: http://www.avert.org/aids-hiv-charity-avert.htm

Terrence Higgins Trust: http://www.tht.org.uk/

Positive Nation Magazine: http://www.positivenation.co.uk/

World Aids Day: http://www.worldaidsday.org/



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