News (USA)

United States lifts 22-year HIV immigration, travel ban

United States lifts 22-year HIV immigration, travel ban
The White House, on World AIDS Day 2009

The United States has lifted a 22-year immigration ban which has stopped anyone with HIV/AIDS from entering the country.

The BBC reports:

President Obama said the ban was not compatible with US plans to be a leader in the fight against the disease.

The new rules come into force on Monday and the U.S. plans to host a bi-annual global HIV/AIDS summit for the first time in 2012.

The ban was imposed at the height of a global panic about the disease at the end of the 1980s.

“We lead the world when it comes to helping stem the AIDS pandemic — yet we are one of only a dozen countries that still bar people from HIV from entering our own country,” Obama said back in October, fulfilling a promise he made to gay advocates and acting to eliminate a restriction he said was “rooted in fear rather than fact.”

“If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it,” he said.

The United States was one of only 12 countries, including Saudi Arabia and Libya, that prevented people with HIV from crossing its borders.

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