November 18, 2021

PETA's Under My Skin: Review and why we should not stop talking about HIV

Last night in a special preview of the Philippine Educational Theater Association "Under My Skin," it has shed more light in understanding HIV, the disease and more about humanity towards people who have it. I haven't seen the production on stage but the streaming version gives a different approach and I thought as impactful to everyone.

"Under My Skin" is an anthology on different cases of HIV/AIDS. And as an eye-opening production, it shatters notions that it only affects gays. It tells us that homo or hetero relationships can also be affected through unprotected sex, blood transfusion, needle sharing or even at birth. A wrong mistake due to curiosity can change one's life slowly if it was ignored.

PETA, in partnership with LoveYourself and The Red Whistle, helps everyone affected or unaffected to be informed, and with this production, it reaches out to the individuals, their families and communities to understand people living with HIV. As for now during the pandemic, it is feared that cases may have tripled in reasons that might have been in the dark.

I like how Under My Skin gives a backgrounder on the frailty of the victims. Promiscuity and curiosity in the name of self-expression and love. The advocacy of playwright Rody Vera and director Melvin Lee produced a very informative, emotional, and no-nonsense production. Ms Cherry Pie Picache gives a straightforward but caring delivery of her dialogues as a non-discriminatory epidemiologist that patients would like to have. And also as a person, she shares the struggles of the victims and fights for them, and gets sad when she loses a life. The ensemble also immerses us to the journey that you'll think you're the infected and puts your heart to it. The magic of pre-recorded production and editing sends a new signal with its "in-your-face" graphics that tells us to watch out for signs especially that we are social individuals.

Under My Skin is a commendable, provocative, informative, scientific production that should not be missed. It sheds the light to everyone, not just the victims but also to the people around them to know how approach it and even avoid to stop the spread of disease. LoveYourself and The Red Whistle opens their lines for those who'd seek help and encourages everyone to get tested and to stop the stigma.

Under My Skin will be streamed online via starting November 26 to December 5, 2021.

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