At the latest global conference on health promotion held in Helsinki, Finland, participants built upon the previous declarations starting from the Ottawa Charter, and asserted a commitment to Health in all Policies, which demands that approach to public policy across sectors that systematically takes into account the health implications of decisions in order to improve population health and health equity. Only one state in Australia to date has adopted this approach (South Australia). The South Australian approach positions Health in All Policies as a core process of government rather than all health policy being instigated by the health sector.
Globally it is clear that if health is treated in isolation (according to a solely biomedical model), the HIV epidemic will continue to affect some groups disproportionately. Health in All Policiesrecognises that the health of populations is ‘inextricably linked to […] social and other determinants outside the health sector’. For example, it was the recognition that the social, biological and environmental risks of HIV were aligned with risks of tuberculosis and malaria that prompted the establishment of UNAIDS and the Global Fund to Fight human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis and malaria. Namibia’s National Policy on HIV/AIDS (2007) includes a multisectoral HIV response, incorporating capacity building in the health, education, agriculture, infrastructure and transport, tourism, public services, and child and welfare sectors to provide better and more equitable care, treatment and prevention.
In the future, nurses working in HIV care can contribute through leadership in supporting Health in All Policies, building and strengthening the profession’s capacity to generate evidence, working effectively with other sectors and sharing their skills and knowledge in providing equitable care and promoting health for those most marginalised who are living with HIV.
For a useful resource, see the World Health Organization. Health in All Policies Training Manual. Geneva: WHO; 2015.