Pushing for change: using advocacy to make better policy

Ian Hodgson
Independent Consultant, HIV Education and Research

Welcome to this issue of HIV Nursing. Writing an editorial at the end of a year allows a reflection on the previous 12 months, and internationally, the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been a key development [1]. During 2014 and 2015, heated debate dominated the discussion of what should be included in the SDGs at country level and at the United Nations, not least because HIV and sexual and reproductive health goals were merged with broader health outcomes (and at risk of losing prominence). After many long nights at the United Nations, and extensive efforts from civil society advocacy groups, the final SDGs included key statements around HIV and sexual and reproductive health. Although still missing a reference to sexual and reproductive rights (which would have been pivotal for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities), these statements are seen as a hard-won success [2]. How government and civil society choose to implement these goals will be vital in seeing them become successful. Read more. . .