Gay and bisexual men and over-15s to get two HPV doses

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Gay and bisexual men and over-15s to get two HPV doses

Gay and bisexual men and people aged 15 and over will receive two doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from tomorrow.

Under updated guidance from the UK Health Security Agency following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, people with HIV and those who are immunocompromised will continue to receive three doses and individuals who are eligible for the vaccine can get it for free on the NHS until they turn 25.

HPV can cause genital warts and, in some cases, various types of cancer including cervical, vulval, vaginal, penis and some types of head and neck cancer. 

“It is great news that from today almost all those eligible for the HPVvaccine will need just two doses to be fully vaccinated. This has already been the case for several years for 12 and 13-year-olds but now the evidence is clear that two doses offer very good protection in all age groups,” said Dr Vanessa Saliba, consultant epidemiologist at the UKHSA.

“We know that the HPV vaccine offers excellent protection against HPV infections and some cancers in men and women and we urge everyone who is eligible to get this potentially life-saving vaccine when it is offered.

“It also remains important for all women to attend their cervical screening appointment when they are invited as this can detect if you are at risk of cancer and save lives.”

A HPV vaccine programme for gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men up to the age of 45 is in operation and 12 to 13-year-olds are currently being given two doses under the adolescent HPV scheme.

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