Wales is to provide the HPV (human papillomavirus vaccine) to men who have sex with men, it has been announced.
The introduction of a targeted vaccination programme for men aged 16 to 45 follows sustained campaigning by the BMA for the vaccine to be given to all UK MSM (men who have sex with men), and all adolescent boys.
BMA Wales GPs committee deputy chair David Bailey said: ‘It is important to offer the HPV vaccine to gay men, and hopefully to all young men.
'Again, the Welsh Government seems to be listening to the things that we would like to see to promote public health in Wales, so well done to it.'
HPV is a risk factor for a number of cancers, and can cause genital warts and cervical and vaginal cancers.
In November 2014, the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) recommended that the vaccine should be given to UK MSM.
Last year, it also recommended that the vaccine be offered to MSM who are over 45, sex workers and HIV-positive men and women on a case-by-case basis.
Announcing the provision of the vaccine for Wales, health and social services minister Mark Drakeford said: 'MSM is a group who receive little indirect protection from the highly successful HPV vaccination programme for adolescent girls.
'I’m pleased to announce that I have approved the introduction of a new targeted HPV vaccination programme for MSM up to the age of 45.’
The JCVI is considering whether it would be beneficial to offer the HPV vaccine to all adolescent boys. A recommendation is expected in early 2017.
The story so far
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