Boys should get HPV cancer jab too, experts say

Public health bodies are calling for a universal vaccine for both girls and boys in the UK

Public and sexual health bodies are calling for boys to receive the HPV vaccine already offered to girls to protect them from cervical cancer.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with different forms of cancer, including cancer of the penis, vagina and mouth, and spreads through sexual contact.

Girls aged 12-13 are offered the HPV vaccination whilst at school in the UK, but the Faculty of Public Health and the British Association for Sexual Health has said that boys should also be routinely offered the jab.

HPV vaccinations currently provide protection against the two most common strains of the virus, which can cause cervical and anal cancer. The existing vaccine Cervarix was replaced with Gardasil in September 2012, which also protects against genital warts.

Speaking to the BBC, Prof John Ashton, the head of the Faculty of Public Health, said: “It seems oral sex has become a very common part of the repertoire in young people and it does seem a likely part of the story of increases in oral cancer.

“We really need to discuss oral sex as part of sex education in schools and to look closely at extending the vaccine to all men.”

There are currently more than 1,000 cases of oropharyngeal cancer diagnosed a year, double the number of cases seen annually during the 1990s.

He said having a reduced cancer risk because of the vaccine would be particularly beneficial for gay men.

In February the Throat Cancer Charity called for a universal HPV vaccination and urged the Government to extend the programme to all 12-year-olds, as HPV has been linked to oral sex.

The British Medical Association joined the debate in January by writing  to Anna Soubry, minister for Health, urging her to introduce HPV vaccinations for young gay men attending sexual health clinics, warning that there is an “alarming increase in anal cancer in gay men”.

HPV vaccination with Gardasil, which also protects against genital warts, was introduced for girls in Australia in 2004 before being extended to boys in 2012. Australia is the only country to offer the vaccine to both girls and boys.

Despite numerous calls for a universal vaccine, the Department of Health has said it has no plans to extend the programme to boys, a decision they say is based on "an assessment of currently available scientific evidence".

“Vaccination of boys was not recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation because once 80 per cent coverage among girls has been achieved, there is little benefit in vaccinating boys to prevent cervical cancer in girls.”

News
people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    General Cover Teacher

    £120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Are you looking for part time/ ...

    SEN (SLD/PMLD) Teacher

    £120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...

    General Cover Teacher

    £120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Currently looking for teachers ...

    SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

    £50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

    Day In a Page

    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
    Why do we like making lists?

    Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

    Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
    Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

    A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

    As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
    Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

    Paris Fashion Week

    Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
    Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

    Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

    One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
    10 best children's nightwear

    10 best children's nightwear

    Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
    Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

    Manchester City vs Roma

    Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
    Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

    Trouble on the Tyne

    Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?