Obama to lift ban on peo­ple with HIV from en­try into U.S.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - World -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — Pres­i­dent Barack Obama said Fri­day that a U.S. travel ban against peo­ple in­fected with the HIV virus will be over­turned early next year.

The or­der will be com­pleted on Mon­day, Obama said, fin­ish­ing a process be­gun dur­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion of for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush.

The United States is one of about a dozen coun­tries that bar en­try to trav­ellers based on their HIV sta­tus. The ban has been in place for more than 20 years. Obama said it will be lifted just af­ter the new year, af­ter a wait­ing pe­riod of about 60 days.

“If we want to be a global leader in com­bat­ing HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it,” Obama said at the White House be­fore sign­ing a bill to ex­tend the Ryan White HIV/AIDS pro­gram. Be­gun in 1990, the pro­gram pro­vides med­i­cal care, med­i­ca­tion and sup­port ser­vices to about half a mil­lion Amer­i­cans with HIV or AIDS, mostly low-in­come peo­ple.

The bill is named for an teenager who con­tracted AIDS through a blood trans­fu­sion at age 13. Ryan White went on to fight AIDS-re­lated dis­crim­i­na­tion against him and oth­ers like him in the late 1980s and to help ed­u­cate Amer­i­cans about the dis­ease. He died in April 1990 at 18.

His mother, Jeanne White-Gin­der, at­tended the sign­ing cer­e­mony, as did sev­eral mem­bers of Congress and HIV/AIDS ac­tivists.

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