Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – On October 30, 2009, President Obama stated at a White House press conference that he will be lifting a ban on people entering the United States that are infected with HIV/AIDS. According to CNN, Obama says by lifting this ban it will encourage people and their families to get tested for HIV/ AIDS.
“We talk about reducing the stigma of this disease, yet we've treated a visitor living with it as a threat," he said at the White House. "If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it." Obama also states that the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act will allow $2.5 billion to fund the support of HIV/AIDS in 2010 and $3 billion by 2013.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 1 million people in the United States living with HIV/AIDS and about 25 percent of them are unaware of the disease they are carrying. As for African-Americans, almost half of that number is infected with HIV/AIDS.
Nicole Thompson, 22, a genetics graduate student at Howard University, says, “I am glad that Obama is lifting this ban because it will now allow more of our doctors to treat people with HIV/AIDS who are unable to get the attention they need in other countries.” Travelers fighting HIV/AIDS have been banned from entering the United States for a little over 20 years.
Health care teacher Emily Hamilton says, “This is longer overdue. African- Americans need to become more aware of this disease, especially since a large number of blacks carry this disease. I try and make my students aware by showing videos and constantly going over information that will make them knowledgeable of these issues. We must start informing the younger children so that we can stop this epidemic,” she added.