Sexual health experts are backing a bid to vaccinate young gay men against HPV. As a recent editorial published in Sexually Transmitted Infections discussed, a number of UK sexual health experts have agreed that young gay men should receive the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination, as they are more likely to develop HPV-related cancers such as anal cancer than heterosexual men.
Since 2008, the NHS childhood vaccination programme has offered all girls aged 12 to 18 the course of injections, however this method of attaining “herd immunity” excludes gay men.
The authors of the editorial, Mark Lawson and David Asboe, have called for an end to this healthcare inequality. The measure would not only save lives but be cost effective in the long-term, they argue. Gay men are fifteen times more likely to get anal cancer and statistics in Australia – who have a similar system to the UK – show that while genital warts in straight men have decreased, there is little change in prevalence amongst gay men.
Senior Health Information Manager at Cancer Research UK, Jessica Harris, said: “HPV vaccination can help protect against other cancers including anal cancer. Gay men are at higher risk of anal cancer and we are supportive of efforts to protect them from this, and other, HPV-related diseases. Vaccination could be a great way to achieve this.”
Better2Know offers the HPV vaccine, and believes that, where appropriate, the more people vaccinated the better. Sexual activity is not always confined to your sexual orientation, so no group of people should be left without protection. If you would like more information on our HPV vaccines and why you should consider it have a look at Better2Know’s web page. It is important that you always seek the advice of a Doctor and we can get you a fast appointment at one of our clinics where you can discuss your vaccination options.