HPV Action (HPVA) is a collaborative partnership of 45 patient and professional organisations that are working to reduce the health burden of HPV. To achieve this, HPVA will deliver an advocacy campaign that aims to achieve gender-neutral HPV vaccination. This means that all boys and girls will be routinely offered vaccination against HPV at the age of 12/13.
HPVA believes that boys should now be included in the programme for the following reasons:
To ensure the maximum possible protection of women against cervical cancer.
To protect both men and women from other HPV-related cancers (anal, penile, oropharyngeal, vaginal, vulval).
To protect both men and women from genital warts and also children and adults from recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP).
We consider that it is unethical to exclude males from a vaccination programme that could significantly reduce their burden of cancer and protect their sexual health.
Exclusion also exacerbates inequalities in cancer outcomes between men and women and between different groups of men (e.g. men who have sex with men and men who don’t and men who have received HPV vaccinations paid for privately and those who have not).
For optimal effectiveness, males should be vaccinated at the same age as females, i.e. at age 12/13, before the onset of sexual activity. Vaccinating at a later age, and not via schools, will achieve lower coverage and provide less protection for individuals already exposed to HPV infection.
HPVA believes the time is now right for an advocacy campaign on gender-neutral vaccination:
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which provides independent expert advice on immunisation to Government, is currently reviewing the potential benefits of HPV vaccine for those not currently offered immunisation, particularly men who have sex with men (MSM). It is expected that the JCVI will report in 2014.
An increasing number of clinicians, public health professionals and patient organisations in the UK are recommending routine HPV vaccination for boys or, specifically, MSM. The Throat Cancer Foundation secured over 150 signatures from a range of experts for a petition on this issue.
Lobbying MPs and ministers, government and NHS officials
Generating media coverage
Building medical and scientific support
Engaging patient, professional and other organisations
HPV Action has been financially supported by Throat Cancer Foundation, HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation, Oral Cancer Foundation (USA), British Dental Health Foundation, European Men’s Health Forum. Society for Sexual Health Advisers, Men's Health Forum Ireland, and Mouth Cancer Foundation. HPV Action receives no commercial sponsorship.
CONTACT HPV ACTION
Peter Baker HPVA Campaign Director firstname.lastname@example.org