MANILA -- Promoting HIV awareness is the main goal of iWant's newest advocacy series "Mga Batang Poz."
Starring Awra Briguela, Fino Herrera, Paolo Gumabao and Mark Neumann, the series which tells the story of four HIV-positive teens will start streaming exclusively on iWant on Friday, July 26.
In an interview, the four lead stars shared their thoughts being part of a project which also campaigns for putting an end to HIV stigma.
"Nung nalaman ko, namulat ang mata ko and I'm very proud to be part of this project. It's not really about the project itself na may trabaho ka or hindi. It's an honor to be part of an advocacy, to be educating and guiding people and to clear things up tungkol sa stigma pagdating sa mga people living with HIV," Neumann said.
"I think we really need to raise this awareness, educate people, open their eyes kumbaga. Bata man, matanda man, magulang, mga anak, we have to teach to become more aware of how to take care of yourself," he added.
For his part, Briguela said: "Gusto ko maging role model ng mga kabataan. Gusto kong maging inspiration at maging aware sila. First pa lang nung nalaman ko itong project na ito tinanggap ko siya ng buong puso."
Directed by Chris Martinez, the six-episode series will shed light on HIV and give hope to HIV-positive people and their love ones. The series is based on the best-selling novel by Palanca-winning author Segundo Matias Jr.
"Be informed, be educated and be aware na talagang tumataas ito (bilang ng may HIV). Huwag naman sana nating pataasin pa, lalo na sa mga kabataan na 15% lang daw po ang aware sa nagaganap," Matias shared.
Aside from the series, iWant also continues the conversation on its advocacy and what still needs to be done in an exclusive special called “Poz Talk” with Karen Davila, the four lead stars, the author of the novel, and HIV-positive people who will bravely share their stories. It will also come out on Friday, July 26, on iWant.
The Philippines has the fastest-growing HIV epidemic in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Department of Health (DOH). Majority of these infections are also reported to be among young people aged 15 to 24, said the Philippine National AIDS Council in 2018. This year, DOH reported that 38 new HIV cases are reported daily, up from last year’s 32.
“Mga Batang Poz” was adapted by writer Jerry Gracio and produced by Unitel, StraightShooters, Inc., and Dreamscape Digital.
It also stars Yayo Aguila, Bobby Andrews, Joem Bascon, Gardo Versoza, Rita Avila, Mark Rivera, Benedict Campos, Raven Molina, Chesca Inigo, Patty Mendoza, Soliman Cruz, Tarek El Tayech, Dolly De Leon, Marina Benipayo, Chienna Filomeno, Ricardo Cepeda, Andrew Gan, Arnold Reyes, Angeli Agbayani, and Irma Adlawan.