The U.S. is lifting its 22-year-old ban on allowing immigrants with HIV/AIDS into the country after President Barack Obama deemed it incompatible with plans to lead the global fight against the disease. Imposed at the height of panic about the disease in the late 1980s, the ban will be lifted on Monday. Just 12 countries, including Libya and Saudi Arabia, block immigrants with HIV/AIDS, reports the BBC, which notes that better treatments and evolving public understanding of the disease helped initiate the change. The U.S. also plans to host a bi-annual global HIV/AIDS summit for the first time in 2012. In October, Obama called the ban “rooted in fear rather than fact,” and noted that the U.S “lead[s] the world when it comes to helping stem the AIDS pandemic—yet we are one of only a dozen countries that still bar people with HIV from entering our own country.”
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