idea & story


The HIV and AIDS hysteria of the 1980s and 1990s is fortunately over - but this does not mean that the factual threat of this virus has gone away. Awareness and readiness to listen to enlightenment on the dangers of infection have diminished here (in Germany) while the numbers of those newly infected continue to rise - not appreciably, but are still rising - also, and particularly, among the age-group 15 - 25.

„Damned positive“ attempts, by talking the example of completely normal young people from a completely normal social background, to demonstrate that the risk of an HIV infection through unprotected sex is not restricted exclusively to the so-called high-risk groups. The play is neither a moral tract nor is it an instruction manual in the matter of sex. It presents, both entertainingly and thoughtfully, the story of a young boy who is absolutely certain that he runs no risk of contracting the HIV virus…


The evening before Stephan’s sixteenth birthday a small group of family and friends gathers to celebrate. Stephan is not only greatly looking forward to his birthday but also to the “First Time” with his girlfriend Anna. However, everything goes horribly wrong – his friend Marco ends up being sick, his homosexual brother and partner have a major bust-up and storm out of the party, and Anna suddenly has to go home because her parents have had yet another argument and have decided to finally split.

And so shortly before midnight, Stephan finds himself all alone. His birthday party has turned out to be a disaster and his “First Time” with his girlfriend seems very far away. He rushes off to a disco in a black mood, planning to drown his sorrows in alcohol. Feeling that time is running out, he finally allows himself to be picked up by twenty-year old Angi and subsequently loses his virginity to her.

He returns from his one-night stand early the next morning, feeling rather pleased with himself but also a bit guilty. But as it turns out, he hasn’t much time to think about things for his beloved Anna arrives to speak to him about her parents’ break-up and to make up for the night before… They sleep with one another.

A short time later Stephan learns that Angi has been HIV positive for some time. The news hits him like a sledgehammer since, in his frustrated and horny mood and squiffy state the night before, he had thrown all caution to the wind and had had unprotected sex with her…

And so the worrying wait begins – is Stephan HIV-positive? Has he infected Anna? How do you live with the fear of having infected someone you love? After a tortuous eight weeks the results of the AIDS test arrive…