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The fight to shed light on and find cure for human immunodeficiency virus or HIV has come a long way since it first broke out in the 1920s.

Two HIV patients from America and just this year, from London, have been cured. Researchers’ gene editing has also completely removed the virus in trials involving mice.

In the Philippines, where HIV cases are at an all-time high, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are now mandated to provide medical benefits, without discrimination, to employed people living with HIV, thanks to the enactment of Republic Act 11166 or The Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act. The same law expands HIV testing to 15 years old and up to below 18 years old without the need for parental consent.

Despite these efforts and breakthroughs, however, the stigma surrounding the epidemic is still present and therefore, needs

Enter Mga Batang Poz, an upcoming online series set to enlighten Filipinos about life as an HIV-positive person.

The six-part online series is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Segundo Matias Jr., which tells the story of four young Filipinos–Enzo, Gab, Chuchay, and Luis–who are all “poz,” the slang word for HIV-positive. It’s the first young adult novel to discuss the topic locally,

In Mga Batang Poz, all of them acquires the disease, undergoes diagnosis, joins online support groups under an alias, reveals their situations to their families, and undergoes medication.

The adaptation is under the direction of Chris Martinez, which describes it as a “gripping” and “shocking” digital series.

It stars Awra Briguela, Mark Neumann, Fino Herrera, and Paolo Gumabao, who Martinez says are about to deliver “their most daring and touching performances to date.”

Mga Batang Poz will be out on iWant, July 26. 

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