The Journal of medical humanities 2017 05 19() doi 10.1007/s10912-017-9443-7
This special issue, entitled "Post-AIDS’ and Global Health Discourses: Interdisciplinary Perspectives,’ emerged from a one day Medical Humanities symposium at the Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities, at the University of Leeds, England, on February 27th 2015. This special issue focusses on the perceived deprioritising of HIV and AIDS in the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, that were launched in 2015. The SDGs function as policy benchmarks for all entities within the United Nations system and they supersede the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, which expired in 2015. As the word millennium indicates, the MDGs were launched in 2000 and 2015 was designated as the benchmark year when the successes and shortcomings of the MDGs would be critically assessed. One key difference between the MDGs and the SDGs, which D’Ambruoso foregrounds (2013), is that the writing process underpinning the SDGs involved lengthy consultations, and feedback, with communities and health care practitioners around the world. By contrast, because the MDGs were mainly written by government officials, policy makers and health care practitioners without consulting wider communities, the processes underpinning the SDGs consultations are more inclusive than the MDGs. What is most critical about the SDGs for this special issue, however, is that they reflect a clear shift away from ‘HIV exceptionalism’ and towards what critics have described as ‘post-AIDS’ rhetoric, specifically when one compares the MDG health goal 6 and the SDG health goal 3.