U.S. travel ban on HIV/AIDS ends Monday

A 22-year-old immigration ban preventing those with HIV/AIDS from entering the United States ended on Monday.

President Barack Obama announced he would eliminate that ban in October, a step he said could "encourage people to get tested and get treatment."

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Until this morning, the United States was only one of about 12 countries to even impose such a travel ban, established in the 1980s when fears about HIV/AIDS were most intense.

"We talk about reducing the stigma of this disease, yet we've treated a visitor living with it as a threat," Obama said in May, according to CNN. "If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it."

The move arrives as the United States prepares to host the World Aids Conference in 2012. The previous travel ban would have severely complicated the White House's ability to participate in the annual forum.