US life insurer Prudential Financial has joined forces with advocacy group ÆQUALIS to make life insurance coverage available to people who are living with HIV – provided they meet the underwriting qualifications.

Describing it as a "milestone" in the changing nature of the HIV infection, Prudential Financial said people living with HIV may now be eligible to obtain 10- and 15-year individual convertible term life insurance products, offered through Prudential’s issuing insurance companies.

Mike McFarland, chief underwriting officer for Prudential Individual Life Insurance, said: "As medical technology advances, we continuously evaluate and update our underwriting criteria, which has resulted in our ability to offer insurance to people dealing with various medical or chronic conditions."

"With advances in the successful treatment of people with HIV, we are now able to offer this population the opportunity to apply for life insurance – a milestone we see as a significant step in the right direction."

McFarland added: "Our relationship with ÆQUALIS is another way we are extending our reach into underserved markets. We’re passionate about our efforts to offer this community a way to help achieve their financial goals through the protection life insurance offers."

ÆQUALIS is providing consumers with direct access to information about the insurance products that are available and managing the process of applying for a policy. They are also working with financial professionals and other major insurance agencies and distributors to raise awareness and manage the application process.

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Commenting on the development, Bill Grant, co-founder of ÆQUALIS, said: "The ability to help people provide security for loved ones, family members and business partners is a gratifying result."

Prudential Financial is the second largest life insurer in the US, (life and group combined) based on total admitted assets.