HPV vaccination for boys

30 July, 2015


As a member of HPV Action RHM signed a letter to Ms Jane Ellison (MP) calling on the Department of Health for universal HPV vaccination in the UK.

” (…) We believe that both boys and girls should be vaccinated against HPV at around the age of 12/13 in order to protect everyone from a range of diseases, including a range of cancers (cervical, vulval, vaginal, anal, penile and oropharyngeal), genital warts and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. We urge the government to implement this policy as soon as possible.

The current HPV vaccination programme, which covers girls only, is undoubtedly one of the best in the world in terms of its coverage. There is no doubt, too, that many boys receive some indirect protection through the programme because they are less likely to be exposed to HPV infection.

However, the current programme offers no protection to men who have sex with men (MSM), a group which is particularly at risk of HPV-related anal cancer and genital warts. We very much welcome the JCVI’s proposal to offer HPV vaccinations to MSM via sexual health clinics and urge the Department of Health to implement this as soon as possible. But it must also be recognised that opportunistic vaccination of MSM at sexual health clinics will fall far short of universal coverage for this group, continuing to leave many MSM at risk.

Men who have sex with women who have not received the vaccination also remain at risk. These women include the 10-15% unvaccinated in the UK as well as women from other countries where there are HPV vaccination programmes with far less coverage than in the UK or no vaccination programmes at all. (….)”

RHM has published on universal HPV vaccine and is a valued member of HPV action because of our international perspective. To access all HPV related articles please visit the HPV Key Topic.