U.S. to End Ban on Travelers with HIV/AIDS

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The Obama administration is ending a ban that keeps people with HIV/AIDS from entering the United States.

President Barack Obama made the announcement at the White House Friday as he signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension of 2009.

"If we want to be a global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it," Obama said. The order ending the 22-year ban will be finalized on Monday, he added, completing a process initiated by the Bush administration.

The Ryan White CARE Act -- named for the Indiana teen who contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion at age 13 -- provides for education, prevention, and treatment programs for roughly half a million low income people in the U.S.

On lifting the ban on travelers with HIV/AIDS, Obama said it "is a step that will save lives" by encouraging people to get tested and to get treatment.

The ban has kept out thousands of students, tourists, and refugees. It has also complicated the adoption of HIV-positive children.

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