Department of Health 'awaiting advice' on extending HPV vaccine to gay men

Published: March 13, 2015

Nick Duffy
Original Article:

A vaccination programme against the human papilloma virus – which spreads through genital or oral contact – began among girls in the UK in 2008, on the grounds the move would curb the spread of the infection to boys as well.

Heterosexual men gain protection from the virus through herd immunity if women are vaccinated – but no protection is afforded to men who have sex with other men under the scheme.

The Department of Health has reacted to calls this week for the HPV to be extended to boys.

A Department of Health spokesperson told PinkNews: “The HPV vaccination programme is key to helping us prevent cervical cancer.

“We have successfully administered nearly eight million doses since 2008 and almost 90 per cent of girls in England completed the three-dose course last year alone.

“We recognise that the programme does not currently offer protection against HPV for men who have sex with men, which is why our independent vaccine advisors, The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation are currently working on this with the aim of providing us with their advice soon.”

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