The United States has lifted its ban on immigrants with HIV or AIDS from entering the country. The new rule eliminating the ban went into effect Monday.
President Barack Obama made the decision in light of plans for America to host a bi-annual global HIV/AIDS summit for the first time in 2012. He said the ban is "rooted in fear rather than fact."
"It's (lifting the ban) a step that will encourage people to get tested and get treatment, it's a step that will keep families together, and it's a step that will save lives," Obama said.
"If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it," he added.
The 22-year old ban was imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services in 1987 when fear and ignorance about the disease was widespread.
Currently 11 other countries including Libya and Saudi Arabia enforce the ban.