US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has commended China for lifting its ban on HIV-positive visitors.

China announced this week it had lifted the entry ban on HIV-positive people, several months after US president Barack Obama lifted the US’s ban.

Ms Clinton said: “China’s step, like our earlier action, is supported by current medical knowledge of HIV transmission and risk. And it will help reduce the stigma and discrimination around HIV/AIDS that fuel the global pandemic and too often prevent people from accessing much-needed services.‪

“I am encouraged by the growing international consensus against discriminatory HIV-based travel restrictions, and I congratulate China on being a part of this progress.‪‪”

China’s ban was introduced in 1989, although it has been temporarily lifted it for major events in the past, such as the1990 Beijing Asian Games and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

America’s 22-year-old law was one of the most restrictive immigration policies in the world for people with HIV. When President Obama lifted the ban, he described the law as a “decision rooted in fear rather than fact”.