Calls To Give Boys Anti-Cancer Jab

Schoolboys should be given the HPV vaccine to help protect them from some cancers, according to public and sexual health bodies.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is linked to a range of cancers and a vaccine is already given to girls in the UK to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.

The Faculty of Public Health and the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV said boys should be vaccinated.

The Department of Health said there was no plan to extend the programme.

HPV infections are associated with cancer of the penis, vulva, vagina, anus, mouth and throat. It is spread by sexual contact.

In the UK, girls aged 12-13 are offered the HPV jab. Australia is the only country to routinely offer the vaccination to boys and girls.

Prof John Ashton, the head of the Faculty of Public Health, told the BBC: “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.”

BBC News

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