US President George Bush has signed a bill which repeals the 1987 ban on HIV positive people from travelling or immigrating to America.

The bill, which was approved by the senate earlier this month, also serves to reauthorize PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which will see $48bn dollars being spent to fight HIV/AIDS around the world over five years.

US gay rights organisation The Human Rights Campaign called on the country’s Department of Health and Human Services to update its own regulations, which also ban HIV positive travellers, following the president’s signing of the bill.

“We appreciate the President signing the repeal of this unjust and sweeping policy that deems HIV-positive individuals inadmissible to the United States,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

“The HIV travel and immigration ban performs no public health service, is unnecessary and ineffective. We call on Secretary of Health and Human Services Leavitt to remove the remaining regulatory barriers to HIV-positive visitors and immigrants.”

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