US President Barack Obama announced last year that the ban on allowing people with HIV into the United States would be lifted; The ban has been in place since 1987.
The President signed the bill last Friday that also reauthorised federal funding for HIV related healthcare policy. The President said; "If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV, we need to act like it." This means that as of today Monday 4th January 2010 people living with HIV can now legally enter the US for holidays, business trips and potentially obtain full residency.
Only a handful of other countries, such as Yemen and Qatar, have similar policies on barring entry to HIV-positive individuals.
Obama signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act saying that it was a ban that was rooted in fear rather than fact. The Ryan White Act is named after a 13-year-old boy who contracted the virus via blood transfusion and helped educate Americans about the disease until his death in 1990 aged 18.
The act helps about 500,000 people, many on low incomes, by providing treatment and support.
If you or anyone you know is effected by HIV/AIDS and would like to talk to someone in complete confidence, please contact us on 01380 801951 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information on HIV/AIDS can be found in our HIV and AIDS section.