This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
nineteen eighty-seven, H.I.V./AIDS joined a list of diseases that could keep a
person out of the United States. The government later tried to cancel its
decision. But Congress made the travel ban a part of immigration law. People
with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, could seek an exception, but that
meant extra work.
year, Congress and President George W. Bush began the process of ending the
travel ban. Now President Obama is finishing that process.
BARACK OBAMA: "We talk about reducing the stigma
of this disease, yet we have treated a visitor living with it as a threat. We lead 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 H.I.V. from entering our own country."
final rule published Monday will end the travel ban effective January fourth. H.I.V.
will no longer be a condition that can exclude people. And H.I.V. testing will
no longer be required for those who need a medical examination for immigration
has killed more than twenty-five million people since the early nineteen
In September, there was news that a vaccine showed some
ability to prevent H.I.V. infection in humans for the first time. The full
results of the vaccine study were presented in late October at an international
conference in Paris. They were also reported in the New England Journal of
Medicine. The researchers confirmed that the study in Thailand produced only "modest"
United States Army sponsored the vaccine trial. The study combined two
vaccines, using versions of H.I.V. common in Thailand. Neither vaccine alone
had shown success in earlier studies.
researchers tested the combination in more than sixteen thousand volunteers. Half
of the volunteers got the vaccine. The others got a placebo, an inactive
substance. All were given condoms and counseling on AIDS prevention for three
years. The study found thirty-one percent fewer cases of infection in the
vaccine group than in the placebo group.
But critics said the findings could possibly have resulted
from chance. The announcement in September was based on all sixteen thousand
volunteers. Almost one-third of them, however, did not follow all the required
steps in the study. Results just from those who did were similar to the larger
group, but the influence of chance was more of a possibility.
the researchers said the study produced enough valuable information to offer
new hope for AIDS research.
And that's the VOA Special English Health Report. I'm Bob Doughty.