Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health announced this morning that a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination pilot for men who have sex with men (MSM) will start from June, 2016.
An HPV vaccination programme for girls has been delivered since 2008 to help prevent cervical cancer but HPV infection is also associated with ano-genital and oral cancers.
In November 2015, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised that a HPV vaccination programme should be introduced for MSM aged up to 45 years who attend genitourinary medicine (GUM) and HIV clinics, subject to procurement of the HPV vaccine and delivery of the programme at a cost-effective price.
Through this pilot, the HPV vaccine will be offered during existing appointments at selected GUM and HIV clinics in England to test delivery in these settings. Public Health England is in the process of agreeing which GUM and HIV clinics will take part in the pilot.
Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, has welcomed the news.
He said: “I was pleased to learn of today’s announcement of the HPV vaccination pilot for MSM. Ano-genital and oral cancer and its prevention is an important issue which directly impacts on the lives of many of my constituents in Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven.”
Local dental hygienist Christina Chatfield has been campaigning for HPV vaccinations for all boys. She is presently walking over the Pyrenees to bring attention to the issue.
On hearing the news, she said: “I have spent my days on the Camino pondering why if 5% of all cancers are caused by HPV, why it is not a done deal and offered to everyone. With men being 3 times likely to get mouth cancer than women because of HPV, it’s a step in the right direction.”
For more information about Christina’s awareness raising walk, click here: