Sexual Health Charity GMFA have called on the UK Government to provide a HPV Vaccination to 367,000 12-year-old boys in the hope of protecting them against HPV-Related Cancers
· HPV infection in men is associated with up to 90% of anal cancers, 60% of penile cancers, and 75% of tonsillar and base-of-tongue cancers.
· A massive 64% of parents surveyed in a YouGov poll agreed that boys should be offered the HPV vaccine.
GMFA, one of the biggest sexual health charities in the UK and HPV Action has called upon the government to offer boys HPV Jabs – which will protect them against HPV-Related cancers – such as anal cancer.
Girls in the UK are already vaccinated.
GOVERNMENT SHOULD ACT FAST
HPV Action, a coalition of 25 patient and professional organisations, says, “The Government should act immediately to end the serious future health risks facing boys from some of the UK’s fastest growing cancers.” HPV is commonly known to be the primary cause of cervical cancer in women, but it is also a real and rapidly growing health threat to UK men and especially to gay men.
VACCINE MOST EFFECTIVE
Matthew Hodson, Chief Executive of GMFA, adds: “GMFA supports HPV Action’s call for HPV vaccination to be universal. The vaccine is most effective when it is given to pre-adolescents, before the age when most young gay men feel able to be open about their sexuality, even if they have accepted it. The current policy of providing the vaccination to young girls but not to young boys may help prevent heterosexual men from getting HPV sexually but provides no protection for gay men and only limited protection for bisexual men. Gay men are more likely to acquire sexually transmitted infections, including HPV, and so the current policy amplifies existing health inequalities and contributes to the high prevalence of cancers within the gay population.”
In 2012 HPV accounted for 40,392 new cases – a 15% increase since 2003 of genital warts. In men HPV is associated with up to 90% of anal cancer, 60% of penile cancers and 75% of tonsillar and base-of-tongue cancers.
Tristan Almada, who co-founded The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation after losing his mother to HPV-related anal cancer in 2010, said: “I want to prevent the horror my family went through from ever happening to anyone else again. We have that opportunity today via universal HPV vaccination. The UK should be a leader, not a laggard, to the rest of the world.”