The results of a new study have shown that pre-exposure prophylaxis treatments are safe for the health of gay men.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) are antiretrovirals given to people who are HIV negative who are at high risk of HIV infection.

The study by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of 400 gay men was presented at the recent Vienna International AIDS Conference.

Researchers said that daily doses of the medicine did not produce feared side effect such as kidney damage or bone mineral loss.

The men in the study also did not appear to take on significantly more risky sexual behaviour despite being on the medication.

While the sample group was too small to come to any conclusion about the actual efficacy of the drugs, the trial seemed to suggest that the treatment was effective at preventing infection.

Other larger studies are underway in Thailand and South America to assess the effectiveness of PrEP in preventing HIV infection.

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