The Welsh Government has announced that an HPV vaccination will be made available for all gay and bisexual men.

An HPV vaccination which could offer protection against certain types of cancers will be offered to gay and bisexual men in Wales. The campaign was rolled out from April 1st.

It is currently being offered to men, up to the age of 45, who attend sexual health clinics. The decision follows a recommendation by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). 

Commenting on the move, Welsh Lib Dem Equalities Spokesperson, Cadan ap Tomos, said,

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“The Welsh Liberal Democrats welcome this announcement as a step towards protecting men who have sex with men against certain cancers. The HPV vaccine is proven to be effective in reducing these risks and should be welcomed.

“However, while this is a step in the right direction, we want to see the programme go further. All boys aged 14 in Wales should be vaccinated on the same basis as their female peers to ensure the maximum protection, and make sure that gay and bisexual men aren’t at a discriminatory risk of developing these cancers later on in life.”

What Is HPV?

HPV is the name for a group of viruses that affect the skin and moist membranes lining the body such as the cervix, anus, mouth and throat. HPV infections are highly contagious when transmitted sexually.

Some strains of the HPV virus can cause genital warts, and cancers of the anus, penis, mouth and throat. In some cases, it can also cause head and neck cancer.