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